ITC, expert in waste valorisation in the ceramic sector 

The Institute for Ceramic Technology (ITC, Spain) is willing to join consortiums interested in the following H2020 topics related to circular economy:

CE-SC5-01-2017: Methods to remove hazardous substances and contaminants from secondary raw materials

CE-SC5-06-2018: New technologies for the enhanced recovery of by-products

CE-SC5-07-2018: Raw materials innovation for the circular economy: sustainable processing, reuse, recycling and recovery schemes

Contact Person: Celia Rodríguez ( – phone nº: (+34) 964-34-24-24


1. Who are we?

Our activity is focused on spearheading technology innovation and design processes, anticipating market and consumer needs, through professionalised management of a qualified human team committed to excellence. Nowadays ITC’s fundamental concern is research, as the main vehicle for sectorial development, while it concurrently acts as a partner for ceramic companies, detecting their problems and searching for instruments that will help them to solve these problems. In addition, ITC will undertake whatever actions might enhance company competitiveness in the international marketplace.

 Our multidisciplinary team is highly qualified in the following domains, offering a wide range of know-how and cooperation possibilities:

· Advanced ceramics

· Environmental technologies

· Nanotechnology

· New coatings and surface treatments

· Occupational safety and health

· Raw materials and products

· Simulation of processes and materials

· Smart manufacturing

· Standardization

· Tribology

 ITC’s wide-ranging research activity enables to extend its field of action to other types of processes and materials. Particularly ITC works in the field of ceramic processing, energy efficiency, and industry’s environmental impact minimization (innovative waste recovery solutions and emissions reduction), as well as in the functionalisation of ceramic surfaces and in the achievement of new technical performance and aesthetic features of products related to the habitat hyper-sector and other industries, such as high-tech tools, advanced ceramics, automotive or petrochemical sectors.

Its activities include products and processes improvement, residues and greenhouse pollutants

reduction, control systems development, energy saving plans, etc.

2. What can we bring to your project?

2.1. Our know-how and industrial contacts

The manufacture of ceramic tiles involves, apart from natural raw materials (clay, kaolin, quartz, feldspar, calcite), synthetic ones like boron compounds, metal oxides (Zn, Sn, Co, Cr, Ce, Pr, Ti, Zr, etc.) and carbonates (Li, K, Na, etc.), some of them considered nowadays Critical Raw Materials.

ITC participates in R&D activities aimed at identifying alternatives to the use of primary raw materials and recycling secondary raw materials in ceramic tile manufacturing, including bodies, frits, glazes and pigments, to reduce the environmental impact of such industrial activities.

The valorisation of metallic wastes in ceramic pigments production has a relevance, to promote the circular economy for metals, boosting valorisation and preventing the loss of valuable metals, some of them considered as critical by the Raw Materials Initiative, established by the EU.

Furthermore, ITC includes a specific area of analysis and testing which can perform more than 475 different analysis and tests, using both standard methods and specialized techniques (some of them have been developed internally with its exclusive training). ITC includes four specialized laboratories with enough capacity to carry out physico-chemical characterization, mineralogical studies and the determination of thermal properties of both raw materials and intermediate and final products of different industry sector.

Because of the significance of testing results harmonization and standardization, ITC is involved regularly in interlaboratory exercises. A good example is its participation to monthly interlaboratory rounds organized by BP USA to determine different characteristics in coke samples, involving around 15 laboratories from all over the world. I should also have noted that ITC has organized several intercomparing exercises, being responsible for standard material preparation and overall results analysis. Likewise, ITC carries out standardized tests accredited by ENAC (Spanish national accreditation entity) for the certification of finished products and going beyond testing, ITC is involved in committees for the development of new standardized procedures, especially in the ceramic tile sector.

Thus, our competences in the field of waste recycling include:

· Physico-chemical characterization of secondary raw materials

· Predict how secondary raw materials will behave during the ceramic process

· Optimise ceramic compositions (body, frit, glaze, pigments) with secondary raw materials

· Modifying process variables to facilitate the valorisation of secondary raw materials

· Pilot trials to validate the laboratory results

· Performing accredited analysis for the certification of finished products.


Due to ITC’s proximity to the Spanish ceramic industry, ITC can provide to the consortium industrial companies, SME or large companies to validate the laboratory and pilot results in real industrial environments.

2.2. Our experience in R&D

ITC has participated in numerous R&D projects related with waste recycling, including:

LIFE CERAM Zero waste in ceramic tile manufacturing LIFE12ENV/ES/000230 European funding

 LIFE FOUNDRYTILE. Valorisation of the fine fraction and foundry sand in the production of ceramic tiles LIFE14 ENV/ES/000252 European funding

Waste valorisation (VALORES) IMDECA/2011/53 –IMDECA/2012/78. Regional funding Development of a new system for recycling ceramic waste-

 Private funding

Ceramic waste valorisation in cement manufacturing (VALOCER) CTM2004-06619-C02- 02

National funding

Potential use of rice husk and alumina slag casting of aluminum as raw materials in ceramic industry FIT-030000-2006-126

Scaling a bath recovery process from chrome industry by electrocoagulation treatment and ceramic pigments transformation of sludge generated PET2007-0197-01

TRIBOSTAND. Standardisation of tribological tests. FIT-030000-2006-121

 Study of applications and improve the process of obtaining zinc oxides from waste zamak FIT-310100-2005-27

 Design, development and demonstration in a continuous reactor plant for the recovery of depleted chromium plating baths IIARC0/2004/49

European funding

Knowledge-based Multicomponent Materials for Durable and Safe Performance. KMM-NoE 502243-2

European funding (FP7)

Studies aimed at assisting legislation and encouraging continual improvement strategies in the field of respirable crystalline silica. COLL-CT-2003-500896/2

European funding (FP6)

ENIWEP. European network for wear prevention in industrial environment RET-0300003-2005-((Eureka)

European funding

Harmonisation of the methodology to be used for quality control of the materials used in obtaining glaze coatings for ceramic tiles R 181/1998 and R 230/1999

Moreover, we can bring to the project our wide experience in management and coordinating R&D projects at regional, national and European level. During the last years, ITC has participated and coordinated European projects within VIFP and FPVII and other European Programmes. It is also member of different European Technological Platforms, such as: E2BA, TII, SusChem, ECTP, etc.

 2.3. Our equipments

ITC can perform a wide range of tests to characterise wastes and to optimize their use as ceramic resource. Some examples are:

 Characterisation techniques:

· Chemical analysis

· X-ray diffraction

· Particle size distribution by sedimentation, by wet and dry laser, Malvern Z-sizer

· Thermal analysis DTG/DTA and evolved gas analysis by QMS

· Determination of gross and net calorific value.

· Thermal expansion (dilatometric) analysis

· Pore size distribution and specific surface BET

· Water vapour sorption analysis

· Density determination (true and bulk)

Process behaviour:

· Wet and dry milling

· Shaping behaviour: pressing, extrusion, casting

· Thermal behaviour: fusion test (hot stage microscope) melting point determination (up to

1550ºC), vitrification diagrams, pyroplastic deformation, etc.

Final properties:

· Bulk properties: porosity, mechanical strength, frost resistance, etc.

· Superficial properties: gloss, slip resistance, wear resistance, hardness and scratch tests, etc.

· Tribological tests

Pilot plant: 600m2 devoted to anticipating production results (dry and wet milling, drying and spray

drying, granulation, mixing, suspension applications, forming, decoration systems, roller kiln.

© ITC-AICE, 2013
Tel.: +34 964 34 24 24 | Fax: +34 964 34 24 25
AENORRED ITIMPIVAFondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional