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Recycling in the Regions: Valencia – Ceramic Industry and Environment in Spain
Dr. Antonio Barba, Dr. Carlos Felíu, Dr. Eliseo Monfort, Mr. Gustavo Mallol.
INSTITUTO DE TECNOLOGÍA CERÁMICA of UNIVERSIDAD JAUME I of CASTELLÓN

In recent years the Spanish ceramic tile sector, which is mainly concentrated in Castellón, has witnessed spectacular growth: production has risen by 50% (specifically from 400 million m2 in 1995 to over 600 million m2 in 2001. This development has also brought with it new products, extensive equipment upgrading, etc.

These facts, together with a heightened awareness of environmental issues and changes in legislation, have led to greater company concern for the environment and progressive implementation of pollution preventive and corrective systems, as well as waste management and waste recovery or reuse.

ITC activities

The numerous activities conducted at ITC relating to Eco-management include actions such as dissemination of new regulations, advice on enforceable environmental legislation, performance of environmental evaluations, and preparation of compulsory documents in this field. The ITC Environmental Unit also provides a consultancy service on the implementation of Eco-management systems for companies from the ceramic sector. As an example, the following briefly notes some specific studies on ceramic waste recycling or reuse, which have recently been published or will soon appear in press.

Recycling fired tile scrap in red-firing floor and wall tile compositions

This paper deals with the technical and economic feasibility of recycling the fired tile scrap in red-firing ceramic tile manufacturing processes by adding the scrap to the body composition.

In the Spanish ceramic industry these wastes are at present mainly dumped at disposal sites. However the study shows that under current conditions, recycling is a very interesting option [1-3].

Valorising glaze sludges by reuse in glaze production

A study has been carried out in close co-operation with the firm TAU CERÁMICA, S.A., on valorising glaze sludge, on which a paper will soon be published. The study addresses the problem of reusing glaze wastes in glazed tile manufacture.

For this, various valorisation approaches were analysed from a technical and economic standpoint. Owing to the origin of these wastes, the first option was glaze and engobe production. However one of the major problems encountered has been waste quality, as glaze residues are mixed with organic additives from the process, as well as with colourants, which makes reuse difficult. The second difficulty has been the great quantity of glaze residues that are produced in the glazed tile manufacturing process.

To tackle the problem a waste separation system was installed « in situ » in the industrial process in order to have glaze residues without colourants or organic additives, thus considerably raising the possibility of reuse. This approach was found to enable producing glazes that could be used in manufacturing floor tile, with certain constraints.

From an economic standpoint, the most interesting option would appear to be using these wastes in the manufacture of dedicated models, i.e., models which have been specifically designed to enable incorporating these wastes. For the recovery of all the waste to be feasible, glaze losses in application and preparation need to be reduced to about 30% of current losses.

Reuse of marble working wastes in the manufacture of ceramic tiles, frits and fired clay products (roofing tiles and bricks)

ITC is currently also participating in a project entitled « Reuse of marble working wastes in the manufacture of ceramic tiles, frits and fired clay products (roofing tiles and bricks) ».

The results obtained on a laboratory scale demonstrate the feasibility of using these wastes in the manufacture of white-firing ceramic wall tiles, certain types of frits, and white-firing bricks and roofing tiles.

A study is presently being conducted on the technical and economic feasibility of the project on an industrial scale.

References

  1. Reciclado de tiesto en composiciones de pavimento y revestimiento rojo (I) E. Monfort; J. García- Ten; P. Velasco; M. Monzó; S. Mestre; J.C. Jarque. Técnica Cerámica 292, 450-458, 2001.
  2. Reciclado de tiesto en composiciones de pavimento y revestimiento rojo (II) E. Monfort, J. García-Ten; P.Velasco, M. Monzó; S. Mestre; J.C. Jarque. Técnica Cerámica, 293, 629-633, 2001.
  3. Recycling fired redware tile scrap in red-firing floor and wall tile compositions. E. Monfort; J. García-Ten; P. Velasco; M. Monzó; S. Mestre; J.C. Jarque. Tile & Brick International 166, 420-27, 2000.

Contacts

ASOCIACIÓN DE INVESTIGACIÓN DE LAS INDUSTRIAS CERÁMICAS
CASTELLÓN (SPAIN)
Carlos Felíu: cfeliu@itc.uji.es
Antonio Barba: tbarba@itc.uji.es
María Padilla: mpadilla@itc.uji.es

          
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