CEReS -Co-processing of Coal Mine & Electronic Wastes: Novel Resources for a Sustainable Future - BRGM - Bureau de recherches géologiques et minières Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2019

CEReS -Co-processing of Coal Mine & Electronic Wastes: Novel Resources for a Sustainable Future


Many coal mines produce waste which causes acid mine drainage (AMD) potentially resulting in severe environmental damage. This drainage can be treated, but most wastes will continue to produce such drainage for hundreds of years. Therefore, longer term, permanent solutions are needed. At the same time, the pace of technological development means most electrical and electronic equipment becomes obsolete within a matter of years. This results in the generation of vast and growing quantities of electronic waste (e-waste) every year. Where this cannot be recycled, it must be discarded. CEReS was a 3.2 M€ RFCS-funded project comprising eight partners from five countries. It targeted the development of a co-processing approach to treat these waste streams to produce metals and other valuable products, while eliminating their environmental impact. This brings together two waste streams from opposite ends of the supply chain (for which no alternative treatment option exists); turning each into a novel resource in a single, coherent 'grave-to-cradle' process. This industrial ecology approach is key to supporting a circular economy while securing the sustainable supply of critical raw materials. The project successfully elaborated a novel co-processing flow-sheet comprising: (i) the accelerated weathering of AMD-generating coal production wastes to generate a biolixiviant; (ii) the pyrolysis and catalytic cracking of low-grade PCBs to produce hydrocarbon fuel, a halogen brine a Cu-rich char; (iii) the leaching of base metals from the char using the biolixiviant; (iv) the reuse of the stabilised coal wastes; and (v) the recovery of valuable metal while concentrating precious and critical metals into enriched substrates. These individual process units were demonstrated individually at lab-pilot scale. The data were then used to validate the entire flow-sheet in an integrated process simulator. Finally an LCA approach was used to demonstrate the environmental benefits of the CEReS process over the status quo.
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hal-02164802 , version 1 (12-12-2019)


  • HAL Id : hal-02164802 , version 1


Christopher G. Bryan, B J Williamson, J Calus-Moszko, Q van Haute, Anne-Gwenaelle Guezennec, et al.. CEReS -Co-processing of Coal Mine & Electronic Wastes: Novel Resources for a Sustainable Future. International Biohydrometallurgy Symposium - IBS 2019, Oct 2019, Fukuoka, Japan. ⟨hal-02164802⟩


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