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Unlocking the circular aluminium future: ALUMIL joins Horizon Europe’s RecAL project!

ALUMIL proudly announces its participation in the groundbreaking RecAL (Recycling technologies for circular ALuminium) project, which was officially launched in Vienna this February. This pioneering initiative, aimed at revolutionisingaluminium recycling across Europe, has garnered significant support, with €10.6 million in funding from the Horizon Europe Program. ALUMIL is among 19 partners from 9 European countries, collaborating under the coordination of AIT Austrian Institute of Technology-LKR. 

The RecAL project focuses on developing advanced recycling and digital technologies to foster a circular aluminium economy. ALUMIL's expertise in aluminium recycling, particularly through its R&D initiative, Loop60, positions it as a key partner in the consortium. 

Advancing Circular Aluminium Production 

Aluminium recycling presents a promising avenue, utilising a mere 5% of the energy required for primary material production and aligning with global decarbonisation efforts. Recognising its significance, especially within the framework of the European Green Deal, the RecAL project seeks to maximise the potential of this environmentally friendly resource.  

A primary challenge in aluminium recycling lies in the alloy's composition, making separation difficult and resulting in downcycling. However, Europe boasts rich secondary aluminium resources, which are projected to contribute to 49% of total aluminium production by 2050. 

RecAL’s Approach and Impact 

The RecAL project adopts a holistic strategy to leverage secondary aluminium resources effectively. Addressing challenges throughout the value chain, it aims to:  

  • Increase impurity tolerance in alloy design without compromising performance. 

  • Utilise digitalisation and robotics in sorting and dismantling. 

  • Produce recyclate streams with vastly enhanced purities. 

  • Adapt production paradigms to unlock the full potential of secondary resources. 

  • Enhance communication across all sectors of the aluminium industry. 

RecAL is committed to advancing 14 key technological solutions, elevating them to Technology Readiness Level 6 (TRL6). These innovations will be integrated into a digital, socio-technical ecosystem, fostering stakeholder collaboration and promoting industrial and technological symbiosis. The envisioned aluminium hub for circularity will facilitate direct collaboration, closing energy, resource, and data loops at regional and European levels. 

With its focus on sustainable aluminium production, RecAL reinforces Europe's leadership in resource-efficient technologies and contributes to the circular economy. ALUMIL and its partners are poised to make significant strides in revolutionising recycling methods and promoting sustainable practices. 

Project Consortium and Coordinator 

“Unlocking the immense potential of secondary aluminium resources in Europe, RecAL aims to revolutionise recycling methods, addressing the challenge of alloyed metals and promoting sustainable practices”, explains project coordinator Gerald Prantl at AIT-LKR. 

The RecAL Consortium comprises 19 partnerswith expertise in multiple sectors, including engineering, innovation, metals, and IT expertise specific to the project’s key outputs. Additional expertise is present in managing and communicating Horizon Europe projects (executed by consultancy RTDS Group, who co-led the development of the RecAL proposal), along with business planning and IP management. 

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