ITS3.1/ERE4.7 | Challenges of circularity: Considering the energy and material demands/benefits of a circular economy across global supply chains
Challenges of circularity: Considering the energy and material demands/benefits of a circular economy across global supply chains
Convener: Jorge Gomez-Paredes | Co-conveners: Hans Dürr, Simon Slabik, Ana Teresa Lima, Pierluigi Zerbino, Alicia CorreaECSECS, Alex Godoy-Faundez
| Wed, 26 Apr, 08:30–10:05 (CEST)
Room N1
Posters on site
| Attendance Wed, 26 Apr, 10:45–12:30 (CEST)
Hall X4
Posters virtual
| Attendance Wed, 26 Apr, 10:45–12:30 (CEST)
vHall ERE
Orals |
Wed, 08:30
Wed, 10:45
Wed, 10:45
In the face of ecological collapse and natural resources depletion, largely driven by our current linear economic system and exacerbated by continue economic growth, a new sustainability framework proposes to “bend” linear process and create a circular economy (CE). The aim of this economic circularity is to feedback energy and materials into the economic system as much as possible, resulting on a net reduction in the extraction and transformation of energy and materials from ecosystems and the generation of emissions and waste, with respect to economic activity (an eco-economic decoupling).
The extent to which this new economic paradigm becomes a reality depends on our ability to solve several economic transformation challenges and on being able to accurately assess the net savings of energy and materials and the reductions in emissions and waste that would constitute an absolute eco-economic decoupling.
In CE, waste is used as a resource by closing material loops through different types and levels of recovery. The objective of product recovery management is to recover as much of the economic (and ecological) value as reasonably possible, thereby reducing the ultimate quantities of waste (Thierry et al., 1995).
This session presents studies related to:
1. Resource extraction/recovery from wastes
2. Metals and REE extraction and recovery techniques
3. Reuse of waste materials in construction materials
4. Methods to quantify the CE
5. CE models and alternative value chains of secondary resources
This session also welcomes contributions that address the CE, including critical analyses, case studies, and monitoring frameworks that consider the energy and geo-resources (and/or their corresponding emissions and wastes) associated to economic activities/sectors. In particular, contributions that assess the decarbonization and/or dematerialization of energy systems, water systems, and/or food systems, from the perspective of (but not limited to) the net use of energy, water, and minerals, and the generation of GHG emissions, across value chains (hence, works that apply Input-Output Analysis and/or Life-Cycle Assessments are particularly welcomed). Lastly, studies that delve into the socio-political arrangements that allow (or obstruct) economic circularity transformations are also included.

Orals: Wed, 26 Apr | Room N1

Global perspectives
On-site presentation
Jordi Cravioto and Hideaki Ohgaki

Within the rural electrification literature, only a few studies make remarks on the relation between the concept of circular economy and the effects of electricity in these marginalised communities. In contrast, most electrification studies describe the marginalised nature of the rural contexts in the Global South, leaving the dialogue about efficient technologies and economic models typical of CE literature outside their main discussion. The few articles to mention circularity seem to adopt a vision similar to the Global North, reproducing thoughts on the need to implement more efficient technologies, effective policies and financing schemes to promote the "sharing economy", yet under an overwhelming number of difficulties for its implementation [1, 2]. However, there is also a literature critical of CE primarily inside the Global North, which argues that circularity emerges as a theoretically, practically and ideologically questionable notion [3, 4]. These analyses argue that although some initiatives may lead to the decoupling of economic growth from resource extraction, it does not necessarily mean reducing the extraction rate or, for practical use, meeting environmental needs. It is also reasoned that CE can create an inevitable accumulation of individual wealth and exacerbate the informal economy and the precariousness of work [4, 5]. Nevertheless, few reflections on CE and community development emerge from the circumstances of marginalised communities in the global south [6]. Hence, there is not enough evidence to refute or support the idea that the circular economy can meet social and environmental goals compatible with the development needs in these contexts. The aim of this research is to discuss aspects of circularity in the perspective of marginalised communities without electrification in Southeast Asia. Building upon previous analyses of changes in daily activities experienced from introducing renewable solar systems in 2019-2022, we will address how compatible CE notions could be to promote sustainable development in rural communities in The Philippines and Malaysia and the relevance of the raised criticisms to CE. The investigation will be based on the analysis of interviews with members of the community.


[1] Desmond, P., & Asamba, M. (2019). Accelerating the transition to a circular economy in Africa: Case studies from Kenya and South Africa. In The Circular Economy and the Global South (pp. 152-172). Routledge.

[2] Bhattacharyya, S. C., & Palit, D. (2016). Mini-grid based off-grid electrification to enhance electricity access in developing countries: What policies may be required?. Energy Policy94, 166-178.

[3] Corvellec, H., Stowell, A. F., & Johansson, N. (2022). Critiques of the circular economy. Journal of Industrial Ecology26(2), 421-432.

[4] Hart, J., & Pomponi, F. (2021). A circular economy: where will it take us?. Circular Economy and Sustainability1(1), 127-141.

[5] Fevrier, K. (2022). Informal Waste Recycling Economies in the Global South and the Chimera of Green Capitalism. Antipode.

[6] Kinally, C., Antonanzas-Torres, F., Podd, F., & Gallego-Schmid, A. (2022). Off-grid solar waste in sub-Saharan Africa: Market dynamics, barriers to sustainability, and circular economy solutions. Energy for Sustainable Development70, 415-429.

How to cite: Cravioto, J. and Ohgaki, H.: Can the circular economy be relevant for rural development? Insights from communities without electricity in South-East Asia, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-11487,, 2023.

On-site presentation
Arunima Malik, Guillaume Lafortune, Camille Mora, Sarah Carter, and Manfred Lenzen

Fossil and mineral raw materials enable sustainable development and undermine it, causing unintended and detrimental environmental and social impacts via extraction and production processes. The reliance of humans on minerals has led to wide-scale mining and depletion of resources. In this study, we analyse how consumer demand in the European Union drives environmental and social impacts in mining sectors worldwide. We employ multi-regional input-output analysis to quantify positive (i.e., income, female and male employment) and negative (greenhouse gas emissions, accidents at work, and modern slavery) impacts of mining in raw material sectors, as indicators of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We trace these environmen­tal and social impacts across the EU’s trading partners to identify sectors and regions as hotspots of international spillovers embodied in the EU’s consumer demand and find that these hotspots are wide-ranging in all continents. We estimate that across all sectors, EU’s consumption is associated with about 4200 cases of fatal accidents at work and 1.2 million cases of modern slavery annually. Raw material supply chains are respectively responsible for 5% and 3% of these totals, but also 14% of imported GHG emissions. These impacts take place primarily in Central Asia and the Asia Pacific as well as Africa. Our results underline the need for further reforms in mining industries and trade policies to eradicate modern slavery and other adverse social and environmental impacts and to implement safe workplaces for workers. Our results also highlight the need for transitioning to circularity in global supply chains for addressing the climate crisis.

How to cite: Malik, A., Lafortune, G., Mora, C., Carter, S., and Lenzen, M.: Social and environmental impacts associated with fossil and mineral supply chains - a quantitative assessment of the EU’s international spillover effects, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-1435,, 2023.

Construction materials
On-site presentation
Heba Marey, Gábor Kozma, and György Szabó

Concrete is considered the most anthropogenic material used in the construction sector worldwide. It is associated with consuming massive amounts of energy and the depletion of natural resources, based on the increasing Egyptian urban expansion by establishing new cities to face the population growth challenges and achieve the national development strategy. The importance of applying the Circular Economy (CE) for concrete materials in the building sector became a robust key for reducing conventional concrete (CC) materials and addressing the building materials' future challenges. This study investigates the benefits of Green Concrete (GC) materials and their potential for supporting the principles of achieving circularity for concrete materials in the Egyptian building sector. Furthermore, develop a conceptual framework for using GC from the building scale perspective in two new Egyptian cities. The study attempts to answer how GC materials help achieve a circular economy and the potential benefits of integrating different CE strategies for using GC in the Egyptian building sector. The evidence-based solutions (EBS) methodology was used for collecting and analyzing data for assessing the environmental impacts based on reducing the natural resources consumption, recycling, and reusing waste products in the Egyptian building sector. Case studies are used to provide in-depth insights into the practicalities of GC. Applying the before-and-after (BAA) technique for two building models highlights the challenges and opportunities for substituting CC with GC to assess the interactive factors for achieving CE and applying sustainability. The results showed valuable insights into the potential for using GC to support the CE and have a strong ability to reduce natural resources consumption and construction waste stream, which leads to close the loop and achieving circularity in the Egyptian building sector, and recommended that Design for Recycling (DfR) strategy is the most need for improving the using of GC in the building sectors.

Keywords, Green Concrete, Circular Economy, Evidence-based Solutions, Egyptian building sector

How to cite: Marey, H., Kozma, G., and Szabó, G.: Towards Circular Economy by Using Green Concrete in the Egyptian Building Sector, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-4293,, 2023.

REE recovery
On-site presentation
Fidel Grandia and Marcin Plachciak

The management and final disposal of waste containing radioactive elements is currently challenging in many countries due to the large volumes and their potential radiological risk. A promising alternative is the re-use to reduce the amount of waste to be disposed and to provide additional profit to the companies that generates this residue. This can be the case of fluorite sludge produced after the manufacturing of dicalcium phosphate. In this study, the initial stage of waste characterisation of fluorite sludge from two industrial sites, one active in Flix (NE Spain) and another one consisting of legacy ponds and stockpiles at El Hondón, in SE Spain, is reported. Fluorite sludge consists of 40-60% of CaF2, which precipitates during the reaction between fluorapatite (main component of phosphorite raw material) and HCl. This fluorite is very fine grained, with most particle sizes below 5 microns, and contains significant amounts of REEs, mainly Y, La, Ce and Nd, (0.2wt%, 800 ppm, 600 ppm and 300 respectively), especially in the sludge that precipitated in the reaction tanks. Concentration of the other REEs vary from 18 ppm to 167 ppm. Prices for the top grade REEs are high at the moment, and with time, as the reserves become scarcer, the prices will grow even more. Also, fluorite concentrate can be a valuable commodity. Taking into account the large amounts of disposed waste in both sites, and the concentrations of REEs, their recovery can be a great opportunity to reduce the amount of waste to be managed, and to provide new sources for these critical raw materials. So, current investigations are focused on cost-effective methodologies of fluorite separation and concentration and REEs extraction. 

How to cite: Grandia, F. and Plachciak, M.: Recovery of rare earth elements from fluorite sludges from dicalcium phosphate industry, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-7985,, 2023.

E-waste management
On-site presentation
Margret C. Fuchs, Sandra Lorenz, Yuleika C. Madriz Diaz, Titus Abend, Junaidh Shaik Fareedh, Andrea de Lima Ribeiro, Elias Arbash, Behnood Rasti, Jan Beyer, Christian Röder, Nadine Schüler, Kay Dornich, Johannes Heitmann, and Richard Gloaguen

Increasing volumes of electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) demand for innovative and efficient recycling solutions to keep materials in the process/recovery loop. The recovery percentage and quality of resulting recycling products depend fundamentally on the ability to accurately identify the constituents of the e-waste stream. Traditionally, recycling is based on sequential enrichment of target components and reduction of hazardous substances with random sampling from an assumed homogeneous mass. E-waste represents in this context a highly heterogeneous, complex waste composed of a variety of different compounds required to meet the high diversity of functional requirements. Tailored sensor-systems can achieve a successful extraction of several target materials such as precious metals or specific polymers, but reach their limits for many low concentrated, critical raw materials. Hazardous substances and additives (e.g. dark pigments in polymers, poisonous oxides) are difficult to remove from the stream and induce risks of down-cycling, quality loss and reduced acceptance of recycling products. 

HELIOS lab is an agile solution for non-invasive sensing applied to complex recycling streams such as e-waste suited for conveyor belt operations. We employ hyperspectral imaging technology for the fast and spatially resolved acquisition of information associated with physical material properties. Multiple cameras allow for combining reflectance information from the visible to midwave-infrared wavelengths range to differentiate material classes. Fast data processing routines then allow for generating first order material maps. Such maps suffice for well defined, relatively homogeneous material streams but not  for a precise and accurate sorting and process monitoring. For efficient e-waste recycling, further information is required to enhance the component identification, particularly for certain critical raw materials and complex compounds. We suggest additional validation cycles to refine the initial mapping. Several sensors traditionally used for bulk measurements deliver the solution for detailed point validation. Here, Raman spectroscopy, XRF and LIBS provide the needed complementary data for the identification of a wide range of critical raw materials and hazardous e-waste components. Additionally, our in-house developed laser-induced fluorescence (LiF) system contributes a scanning solution for rare-earth element mapping. However, those validation sensors are very sensitive to signal integration times, power and focus distances. We showcase two examples for a combination of Raman spectroscopy and LiF with hyperspectral imaging technology to extract meaningful information from typical e-waste streams such as printed circuit boards and electrolysers in a conveyor belt setting. We discuss the main challenges and give an outlook on additional development needs that we will address in our HELIOS lab in the frame of the EU funded projects RAMSES and inSPECtor (EIT RawMaterials), and the BMBF funded projects High-speed imaging, InfraDatRec, Digisort and H2Giga.

How to cite: Fuchs, M. C., Lorenz, S., Madriz Diaz, Y. C., Abend, T., Shaik Fareedh, J., de Lima Ribeiro, A., Arbash, E., Rasti, B., Beyer, J., Röder, C., Schüler, N., Dornich, K., Heitmann, J., and Gloaguen, R.: How can agile sensing improve recycling stream characterisation and monitoring for e-waste? - news from the HELIOS lab, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12298,, 2023.

On-site presentation
Andréa de Lima Ribeiro, Margret Fuchs, Christian Röder, Nadine Schüler, Sandra Lorenz, Yang Xiao Sheng, Johannes Heitmann, Kay Dornich, and Richard Gloaguen

Plastics are major components of waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE, or e-waste) accounting for up to 25% of annual e-waste production. The composition of such plastics varies greatly according to their original function in the electrical and electronic equipment, and may include additives such as dark pigments and brominated compounds. With WEEE becoming the fastest growing waste stream in recent years, the recycling of polymers became a keystone for waste management and closing material loops. Closing the loops in material life cycles requires that type-pure plastics are obtained at the end of the recycling chain. Accordingly, the identification of polymers prior to their sorting in recycling lines is a fundamental prerequisite.

Here, we explore how an innovative combination of optical sensors can aid the identification of plastics in the plastic recycling environment in order to increase recovery rates and quality of recyclates.

We have selected 23 different polymer samples, representative of the plastic types commonly found in e-waste. We investigated the sequential use of high-speed hyperspectral imaging (HSI) and Raman spectroscopic sensors for digitalization of the waste stream and identification of polymer composition. HSI-reflectance sensors in the short-wave infrared (HSI-SWIR, Specim AisaFenix, 970 - 2500 nm) domain acquired simultaneously spatial and spectral information, allowing for mapping and initial identification of certain transparent and light-coloured polymers (PE, PP, PET, and PC). Raman measurements, collected at specific points and with integration times < 2 seconds, allowed for specific identification of all polymer samples, including black plastics. The use of both sensor technologies on conveyor belts has the potential to fully characterise the WEEE plastics stream, generating identification signals serving as input for sorting machines or simulation models. The combination of latest high-speed sensors and data processing opens many further fields of material stream characterisation and monitoring, which come with high data acquisition rates and volumes. 

Consequently, a smart selection of sensors along with a tailored and learning data processing will be key to innovations towards more complex and agile recycling processes. In this context, our multi-sensor solution focuses on a combination of advantages from HSI and Raman spectroscopy aided by efficient data integration (‘RAMSES-4-CE’ project, supported by the EU EIT Raw Materials).




How to cite: de Lima Ribeiro, A., Fuchs, M., Röder, C., Schüler, N., Lorenz, S., Sheng, Y. X., Heitmann, J., Dornich, K., and Gloaguen, R.: Potential of optical sensors for polymer type identification in e-waste recycling streams, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12643,, 2023.

Waste transformation and nutrients recovery
On-site presentation
Kinga Jarosz, Monika Kasina, Piotr Rozpądek, and Rafał Ważny

Bioleaching by endophytic microorganisms as a method of element recovery from sewage sludge incineration ash 

Incinerated sewage sludge ash (ISSA) has been proven to have resource potential, and in case of some elements, such as phosphorus, in the same concentration range as currently exploited ores. Usage of waste resources, such as ISSA, to recover valuable elements together with the efficient methods are main assumption for sustainable development. Alongside feasibility, economic, energetic and environmental cost of methods applied have to be taken into consideration.  

The effective alternative methods to chemical treatment to recover elements form ISSA that simultaneously lower the negative impact of chemical reagents are biological methods. Microorganisms based solutions, even though described, have still underexplored potential in the field of element recovery. One of the reasons for this state is a limited range of species of microorganisms used for this purpose up to date.  

In present study bacteria and fungi, capable of phosphorus and metal containing phase solubilization, were employed in bioleaching of ISSA. microorganisms have been shown to be both effective in compound transformation as well as resilient in high pH environment – characteristic for ISSA water mixtures. The course and efficiency of bioleaching was determined by the means of ICP methods. The chemical composition of ISSA, leachates, and the post-reaction residues were examined. Moreover, direct observation of interactions between the fungi and the ash was made by SEM-EDS. 

Apart from element recovery, both in case of use of ISSA for fertilization or for any other use (e.g. as an additive to cement), the toxicity of the ash must be examined and reduced.  

The course and effect of ISSA bioleaching by microorganisms was described. The study confirmed that phosphorus extraction as well as chemical neutralization of ash can be achieved using microorganism based bioleaching methods. 


This publication has been funded from the Anthropocene Priority Research Area budget under the program "Excellence Initiative – Research University" at the Jagiellonian University”.  

This publication has been financed by Opus 17 Project 2019/33/B/NZ9/01372 

How to cite: Jarosz, K., Kasina, M., Rozpądek, P., and Ważny, R.: Bioleaching by endophytic microorganisms as a method of element recovery from sewage sludge incineration ash, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-14785,, 2023.

On-site presentation
Gerhard Soja, Anders Sörensen, Bernhard Drosg, Wolfgang Gabauer, Alexander Schumergruber, Gerald Dunst, Daniela Meitner, Elena Guillen, and Christoph Pfeifer

The by-products of abattoirs may become valuable resources for nutrient recycling and energy generation by including pyrolysis and biogas production in the value creation chain. This study investigated the potential of bone chars as sorbents for ammonium in order to produce a soil amendment useful for fertilizing purposes. Ammonium enriched from the digestate by membrane distillation or from pure ammonium sulphate solutions accommodated the nitrogen sorption to the bone chars. The plant availability of the sorbed nitrogen was studied by a standardized short-term plant test with rye (Secale cereale L.).

The results showed that ammonium, both from biogas digestate of the abattoir and from pure salt solutions, could be sorbed successfully to the bone chars post-pyrolysis and increased the nitrogen concentration of the chars (1.6±0.3 %) by 0.2-0.4 %. This additional nitrogen was desorbed easily and supported plant growth (+17 to +37 %) and plant nitrogen uptake (+19 to 74 %). The sorption of ammonium to the bone chars had a positive effect on the reversal of pure bone char phytotoxicity and on nitrogen availability. In summary, this study showed that abattoir wastes are useful pyrolysis input materials to produce bone chars and to use biogas digestates as ammonium source for nitrogen sorption to the chars. This innovation offers the possibility to produce nitrogen-enriched bone chars as a new type of fertilizer that upgrades the known value of bone char as phosphorus fertilizer by an additional nitrogen fertilizer effect. The study also shows that abattoirs, too, may become contributors to circular economy by facilitating the recovery of nitrogen and phosphorus.

How to cite: Soja, G., Sörensen, A., Drosg, B., Gabauer, W., Schumergruber, A., Dunst, G., Meitner, D., Guillen, E., and Pfeifer, C.: Recycling of Nitrogen and Phosphorus with Bone Biochar and Biogas Digestates from Abattoir Residues, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-8863,, 2023.

On-site presentation
You-Yi Lee and Chihhao Fan

A large amount of agricultural byproducts and animal husbandry waste have been produced due to the inevitable agricultural practice for human survival. The utilization of agricultural and animal husbandry residues in waste-to-energy technologies has become an eye-catching issue over years because of the concept of circular economy for sustainable development. These biogenic residues possess a high content of organic carbon such as sugars, proteins, and lipids and are being dumped into landfills or incinerated, causing severe environmental challenges and the waste of available resources. Anaerobic digestion (AD) provides a sustainable route for resource circular utilization in agriculture and husbandry waste. The dry anaerobic digestion process is adopted to treat biogenic waste including outer leaves of cabbage (C), litter (L), and pig manure (PM) in the present study. Different from the main target of past studies to enhance biomethane production, this study aimed to transform the waste into saccharides and organic acids which are the intermediates in AD processes (i.e. hydrolysis and acidogenesis phases) and can be further refined or utilized in various industries. For instance, succinic acid of high economic benefits can be obtained through transforming AD digestate. Hence, Saccharomyces cerevisiae was chosen as the microbial inoculum due to its non-gas-generating characteristic. The results of batch AD experiments for 35 days showed that the optimum feedstock mass mixture ratios are C:L = 2:1, C:L = 3:1, C:PM = 2:1, and C:PM = 3:1 since the observation of more saccharides formation. Moreover, the optimal feedstock-to-inoculum ratio (F/I ratio) is 1:1 and the best AD operation temperature is 50℃. The substance flow analysis was established based on the measurement of key AD products (i.e. saccharides, organic acids, CH4, CO2, and digestate). The batch experiments was scaled up to the 10L continuously-stirred reaction tank to determine the feasibility of in situ AD practice. In comparison to the traditional way to deal with agriculture and husbandry waste, AD is promising to be a valorized treatment to convert waste into reusable bioproducts which enables economic and environmental benefits to realize the concept of the circular economy.

How to cite: Lee, Y.-Y. and Fan, C.: Biogenic waste transformation into resources through anaerobic digestion, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-2198,, 2023.

Posters on site: Wed, 26 Apr, 10:45–12:30 | Hall X4

Waste management
Bassam Tawabini

Extended over 85.4 km2 with more than 2.5 million date palm trees, Al-Ahsa oasis in the eastern part of Saudi Arabia is the largest oasis in Arabian Peninsula and probably in the world. The oasis became a World Heritage site in 2018 and has also been part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network since 2015. The urban expansion and the transition from farms being the main source of income to farms being lifestyle properties, has changed the farm management practices. However, farm ownership continues to be a very strong feature of Al Ahsa communities, with livestock raising integrated with the cultivation of date palms. In oasis farms, date palms products are used as animal feed while animal manure is used as date palm fertilizer. Unfortunately, the huge stockpiles of date palm fronds and burning within the oasis suggest that the waste management practices may not be environmentally sustainable. Therefore, this study was carried out to assess the impact of livestock raising on the oasis farms soil conditions. The methodology followed in the study involved site visits to farms, reviewing related reports and articles on farm management practices and water quality. Key findings of the study indicated that livestock raising on date palm farms has significantly increased over the last 4 decades. Since the 1970’s, the number of farms housing cows has increased from 34% to 100%, and the number with hybrid poultry farms has increased from 4% to 50%. Results indicated that the reuse of all cow and chicken sand / manure mixes, generated on oasis farms, as fertilizer would increase the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium by 17, 32 and 8 times respectively, over the recommended levels. Moreover, further application of manure from intensive chicken and dairy enterprises located near the oasis as fertilizer is not sustainable and lead to several environmental impacts. To reduce these impacts, the study recommends the development of a composting facility for the date palm fronds which may provide a sustainable alternative waste management system for the green and livestock wastes. In addition, farmers could benefit from both a high volume, low cost mulch that could be produced from date palm pruning, and a low volume, higher cost composted soil conditioner that could be produced from low nutrient shredded green waste and high nutrient livestock waste. Reuse of these recycled products within the urban centers could improve water use efficiency and protect landscape plantings from sand storms, and could replace imported soil conditioners. These alternative waste management strategies will reduce the nutrient pressure on the oasis by redirecting organic products processed from farm wastes for beneficial reuse in urban centers.   

How to cite: Tawabini, B.: Sustainable Agriculture Waste Management Strategies: Case Study from Al-Ahsa Oasis, Saudi Arabia, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-2280,, 2023.

Davide Bernasconi, Alberto Viani, Lucie Zárybnická, Gangadhar Das, Elisa Borfecchia, Caterina Caviglia, Enrico Destefanis, Roberto Gobetto, and Alessandro Pavese

Municipal solid waste incineration fly ash (MSWI-FA) is one of the solid by-products of MSWI treatment, accounting for about 1–3% of the total incinerated waste. FA forms in the plant purification system and bears important amount of heavy metals and salt (chloride and sulphate), therefore it is considered as hazardous waste (Bernasconi et al, 2022). For this reason, FA is required to undergo stabilization/inertization treatment (one of the most common is water washing), before being landfilled or used as secondary/supplementary raw materials. In this latter case, few studies have evaluated the incorporation of waste residues into magnesium potassium phosphate cements (MKPCs), mainly focussing on coal fly ash and grounded blast furnace slag (Gardner et al., 2015; Xu et al, 2017). They represent an example of chemically-bonded ceramics, in which the hardening occurs at room temperature through the acid-base aqueous reaction between an alkaline magnesia source (MgO) and a phosphate source (KDP, KH2PO4), according to the following chemical equation:

MgO + KH2PO4 + 5H2O → MgKPO4·6H2O (K-struvite)

This reaction is fast, exothermic and its mechanism has been described as a multi-step process (Viani et al., 2018). MKPCs are receiving increasing interest because of their excellent properties, namely high early age and long-term strengths, resistance to sulphate attack, rapid setting, near-neutral pH, low shrinkage (Xu et al, 2017). However, there are also some drawbacks, mainly related to the fast kinetics and expensive cost of the starting materials, since MgO needs to be calcinated at high temperature (at least 1500°C). The introduction of FA would be economically beneficial both by reducing the amount of MgO needed and providing a destination for a waste residue which otherwise would require important management costs.

In this work, the incorporation of washed MSWI-FA into MKPC is studied, paying major attention on how and in what extent MSWI-FA participates in the cement reaction. Indeed, an approach similar to the one adopted by Xu et al is employed, where the design strategy takes into account the reactivity of MSWI-FA. In particular, one formulation treats MSWI-FA as fully inert, replacing both magnesia and KDP, while in another one MSWI-FA is considered as fully reactive, thus replacing magnesia only. The obtained cement pastes are thoroughly characterized by employing spectroscopic (SSNMR, Zn K-edge XANES), X-ray diffraction, SEM-EDS and isocalorimetry techniques.



  • D. Bernasconi, C. Caviglia, E. Destefanis, A. Agostino, R. Boero, N. Marinoni, C. Bonadiman, A. Pavese. Influence of speciation distribution and particle size on heavy metal leaching from MSWI fly ash, Waste Management, 138 (2022), 318-327.
  • L.J. Gardner, S.A. Bernal, S.A. Walling, C.L. Corkhill, J.L. Provis, N.C. Hyatt. Characterisation of magnesium potassium phosphate cements blended with fly ash and ground granulated blast furnace slag, Cement and Concrete Research, 74 (2015), 78-87.
  • B. Xu, H. Ma, H. Shao, Z. Li, B. Lothenbach. Influence of fly ash on compressive strength and micro-characteristics of magnesium potassium phosphate cement mortars. Cement and Concrete Research, 99 (2017), 86-94.
  • A. Viani, P. Mácová. Polyamorphism and frustrated crystallization in the acid–base reaction of magnesium potassium phosphate cements, CrystEngComm, 20 (2018), 4600.

How to cite: Bernasconi, D., Viani, A., Zárybnická, L., Das, G., Borfecchia, E., Caviglia, C., Destefanis, E., Gobetto, R., and Pavese, A.: Investigation of Municipal Solid Waste Fly Ash Reactivity into Magnesium Phosphate Cement, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-4460,, 2023.

Monika Kasina, Kinga Jarosz, Yingzun He, and Nhung Phan

A stable supply of raw materials required for industrial development and production of everyday goods is one of the major challenges for economies nowadays. EU countries are highly dependent on supplies which currently are extracted in only a few countries worldwide. It is also expected that the prices of industrially important raw materials will fluctuate, depending on the supplier policies. Growing concerns of mineral resources supplies on one hand, and the sustainable economy, where protection of natural resources is one of the key goals on the other hand, force us to search for alternative sources of economically important elements. For this reason, waste stream materials: municipal waste incineration ashes, sewage sludge incineration ashes and industrial incineration ashes were studied. The rational use of incineration wastes as a source of economically important materials requires detailed mineralogical and chemical characterization and evaluation of their recovery and leaching potential since they might contain both, important and potentially toxic for the environment elements. To maximize the extraction rates of valuable elements such as phosphorus and/or to minimize the leachability of potentially hazardous elements (e.g. As, Cr, Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn) a three-step sequential extraction procedure in accordance with the Community Bureau of Reference (BCR; Standards, Measurements and Testing Program) was implemented to characterize the content of trace elements and heavy metals, bonds and potential bioavailability of studied ashes. Leachates were analyzed using ICP methods. Mineralogical methods (XRD and SEM-EDS) were applied to study the composition of starting materials and post extraction solid samples. Efficiency of the proposed extraction method was strongly dependent on incineration technology, types of incinerated waste, bulk chemical composition and mineralogy of ashes that influenced their solubility and thus leaching efficacy.

Acknowledgment. This publication has been funded from the Anthropocene Priority Research Area budget under the program "Excellence Initiative – Research University" at the Jagiellonian University.

How to cite: Kasina, M., Jarosz, K., He, Y., and Phan, N.: Leachability of elements in municipal, sewage sludge and industrial incineration ashes using a sequential extraction method, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-13238,, 2023.

Zhenhua Wang, Joachim Rohn, and Wei Xiang

An ideal solution for dealing with large volumes of waste clays is to stabilize and use them as fill materials for road construction. This paper presents an experimental study on the strength behavior of the clays with high water content stabilized by cement and superabsorbent polymers (SAP) at different curing periods. The SAP can effectively improve the strength of cement soils, and the increase in strength becomes more significant with time. The microstructures of the stabilized soils are also investigated via mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP) and microcomputed tomography (Miro-CT). Comparison of the porosity and the pore size distribution of the stabilized soils shows clearly that the SAP facilitated the hydration/pozzolanic reaction through the absorption-release on free water. With this concept, free water, cement content, and curing period are considered as important parameters based on Abrams' law to characterize the strength of the cement-SAP-soil system.

How to cite: Wang, Z., Rohn, J., and Xiang, W.: Strength performance of high-water content clays stabilized with cement and superabsorbent polymers, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-6595,, 2023.

Caterina Caviglia, Davide Bernasconi, Enrico Destefanis, Costanza Bonadiman, and Alessandro Pavese

Due to the high content of heavy metals and soluble salts, municipal solid waste incineration fly ash (MSWI FA) is classified as hazardous waste and its reuse is limited for their environmental risks. This work analyzes the steam washing application, to remove chlorides and heavy metals from MSWI FA, in order to reach a condition of non-hazardous waste, making them more suitable for stabilization as geopolymers or cement. The target of the steam application is both a sustainable and optimized utilization of water, to reduce the waste-water, and to take the advantage of the heat generation to dissolve most of the soluble salts; moreover, the steam is a resource that can be generated directly at the incineration plant. Steam washing experiments were performed under different conditions of flux and humidity, continuously monitored by sensors, keeping a low enthalpy steam (T< 100°C) for some cycles of washing; a vacuum pressure was applied to remove rapidly the superficial water in the washing chamber. Pre-treated (washed by water) samples of fly ash were also tested with steam washing for comparison. The steam washing was seen to be efficient in removing water-soluble chlorides including sodium chloride, potassium chloride, sulfates as well as heavy metals. The best efficiency of chlorides and sulfates removal was seen to be by 85%, using a steam flux of 2L/min and humidity of 40% v/v; while for heavy metals, like Cd, Zn, Pb the removal was up to 80% at the same conditions.

How to cite: Caviglia, C., Bernasconi, D., Destefanis, E., Bonadiman, C., and Pavese, A.: MSWI fly ash steam washing, aimed to reach a condition of non-hazardous waste and to their possible reuse., EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-5273,, 2023.

Water and energy
Chuan Jiet Teo, Thomas Wintgens, and Johann Poinapen

Ensuring the availability and sustainable water management not only is one of the UN SDGs, but sustainable water production is also one of the main accelerating global challenges within the upcoming decades. Unless the efficiency of water use rises, this imbalance of available freshwater resources and the increasing consumption will reduce freshwater ecosystem services. Industries are one of the largest freshwater consumers. Despite the huge potential to tackle water scarcity, industrial (waste)water management is often underlooked and has become a barrier to overcome to complete the transition towards a circular economy. This means designing for resource (water) minimisation and reduced hazards (such as phosphorus and heavy metals). A decentralised wastewater treatment, in association with local organisation and governance, is increasingly recognised as one of the options to contribute towards increasing the efficiency of wastewater treatment and closing the industrial water loop by the recovery and reuse of the treated wastewater. However, the design of an industrial water treatment system is a complex problem that involves different trade-offs (i.e. use of energy vs use of chemicals). In this context, life cycle assessment (LCA) offers an opportunity to evaluate the environmental sustainability of these technologies and processes, identifying the environmental impacts of the processes in the value chain by capturing trade-offs across various categories of environmental concern.

Circular water management for a slaughterhouse is especially relevant for the sustainable transition towards a circular economy. Throughout the value chain of livestock processing, the slaughterhouse is the second largest user of water, and also a potentially significant point source of pollution to local ecosystems and communities.

The objective of this study is to apply LCA and water footprint analysis to evaluate the environmental impact and missed opportunity of treating industrial wastewater streams generated from a poultry slaughterhouse located in Romania. LCA will be carried out at the planning and design levels of the wastewater system to allow analysis to be done regarding alternative wastewater management strategies, considering different treatment schemes including retrofitting physical-chemical treatment and biological treatment as separate scenarios. The foreground data is based on field data collection that considers effluent qualities. The background inventories are based on the Ecoinvent database v.3. The life cycle impact assessment is applied on both the characterised and normalised levels using the Environmental Footprint (EF) method.

How to cite: Teo, C. J., Wintgens, T., and Poinapen, J.: Circular approach for industrial water management via water balance and LCA: A poultry slaughterhouse case study, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-1285,, 2023.

Isabelle Viole, Guillermo Valenzuela Venegas, Li Shen, Luis Ramirez Camargo, and Sabrina Sartori

A new radio telescope in the Atacama desert, Chile, is currently under design and envisaged to be powered by an off-grid energy system of photovoltaic arrays during the day-time and a hybrid energy storage system for non-sunny hours. Similar isolated solar energy systems employ Lithium-ion or Lead-acid batteries as storage, which either increase the pressure on critical materials like lithium and cobalt or contain lead which mining brings a set of harmful environmental impacts. Hydrides based on intermetallic compounds are emerging as a viable solution for energy storage in stationary applications and are particularly appealing due to their abundance and non-toxicity. Here, by developing a multi-objective techno-environmental optimization, we size a power system that can fuel the telescope’s demand economically while also maintaining a low life cycle carbon footprint. The optimization includes life cycle inventory data of potential components next to costs, including monocrystalline photovoltaic arrays, lithium-ion batteries, hydrogen storage in metal hydrides and as compressed gas, alkaline electrolyzers, PEM fuel cells and diesel generators.

Pure techno-economical optimization without life-cycle inventory optimizes towards power systems with up to 32% of curtailed photovoltaic power. Levelized costs of electricity resulted in $120/MWh with photovoltaics, hybrid storage systems and diesel generators as a backup, and $140/MWh for systems relying on solely batteries and photovoltaics. With our optimization, we propose a system resulting in a low life cycle carbon footprint and acceptable electricity prices, analyzing indirect carbon emissions of the stationary system as well as costs.

The life-cycle carbon footprint optimization performed allows both the remote telescope in question and other off-grid energy systems to make informed decisions on sustainable solutions to fuel their power needs.

How to cite: Viole, I., Valenzuela Venegas, G., Shen, L., Ramirez Camargo, L., and Sartori, S.: How to power an off-grid telescope? Comparative life cycle analysis of renewable-based energy systems, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-14734,, 2023.

Posters virtual: Wed, 26 Apr, 10:45–12:30 | vHall ERE

Yi-Shin Wang and Nae‑Wen Kuo

This research focuses on the reutilization strategy and plan of the electric vehicle battery as the main body, if the battery is replaced. Under different development scenarios of electric vehicles, there will be uncertainty in the amount of electric vehicle batteries to be replaced later. At the same time, the service life of electric vehicle batteries may be slightly different in different years of production. Therefore, it is necessary to understand through data collection and actual interviews. Regardless of the number and the original service life, as long as it is judged that the battery must be replaced, if it can enter the reuse system and reuse it as an energy storage device in a different way, it will immediately show the extended battery energy service. Benefits, reduce environmental impact, improve resource utilization efficiency, etc.After the battery pack of the electric locomotive is replaced after regular maintenance, it may be necessary to distinguish and understand different battery states again. If it can be used again, there will be differences in the battery energy storage methods required for different battery usage habits derived from different solutions (for example, whether it is frequently charged and discharged, and whether it is more necessary to output electric energy stably). In addition to consumption habits, there are also uncertainties and situations in the use demand.The research methods that need to be used include: material flow analysis (MFA), life cycle analysis (Life cycle analysis LCA), etc. In the end, we can put forward the concept of circular economy, hoping to establish a plan or model that has economic feasibility, so that the plan may really be implemented. Therefore, in the evaluation of the program, the service of the battery is viewed from the overall life cycle, and the indicators that can be provided include resource service efficiency, energy service efficiency, and environmental impact. 

How to cite: Wang, Y.-S. and Kuo, N.: The strategy of recycling electric vehicle batteries from the perspective of circular economy in Taipei city, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-2316,, 2023.

Ana Paola Becerra Quiroz, Johanna Karina Solano Meza, Maria Elena Rodrigo Clavero, and Javier Rodrigo Ilarri

The organic fraction of municipal solid waste (MSW) in megacities is usually managed by composting. In this technique the decomposition and stabilization of organic matter occurs under thermophilic conditions. Currently, composting systems range from simple garden piles and bins to highly engineered computer controlled mechanized processes. Composting is used worldwide, currently treating 5.5% of total urban solid waste. Therefore, modeling aerobic processes becomes important since it is the basis for determining the optimal conditions of the system and a fundamental tool to define its relevance and quantify environmental impacts.

However, biological processes such as composting require complex methods and specific software to predict the behavior of organic waste through mathematical models. In the case of the treatment of the organic fraction of urban solid waste, it is necessary to develop this type of models to enhance the recovery of the waste and determine the impacts associated with this technology. For this reason, modeling of organic waste processes is one of the priorities solid waste managing in megacities, where the development of technologies of greater complexity and magnitude is necessary due to the large population.

Success in determining feasibility in a predictive model is based on the parameter calibration process. Model results are dependent on the accuracy of the input variables and the way in which the collection and statistical treatment of the information is be carried out. Despite this need, the information associated with the management of solid waste in megacities is often scarce and incomplete. This is usually due to the poor information systems available in many countries for recording all the stages involved in MSW management.

Therefore, this research seeks the determination and standardization of the variables required for the mathematical modeling of aerobic processes of the organic fraction of solid waste in megacities. The proposal includes the definition of technical but also environmental, social, economic, administrative and financial variables for the case study of the megacity of Bogotá (Colombia).

How to cite: Becerra Quiroz, A. P., Solano Meza, J. K., Rodrigo Clavero, M. E., and Rodrigo Ilarri, J.: Analysis of variables for the modeling of aerobic processes on the treatment of the organic fraction of solid waste in megacities, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-10660,, 2023.

Sara Bortolu, Emanuela Azara, and Pierpaolo Duce

In the context of the Circular Economy, the enhancement of raw wool in new bioproducts represents an important challenge. Wool is the main by-product of sheep, although its production has decreased largely during the last decades. In addition, wools with coarse fiber diameter have little economic value since they are not adequate to be used in the textile sector and, when not transformed, wool needs to be treated as a special waste.

Wool is by its nature a circular fiber. Due to its complex chemical composition, physical structure and mechanical properties, it represents a biodegradable renewable resource and can find various value-added applications beyond the textile industry. The technological characteristics make wool particularly suitable for different applications such as thermo-acoustic insulation, agricultural amendment, biomedical polymers, etc.

Furthermore, it absorbs harmful pollutants, becoming a specific chemical indicator. In fact, it has been shown that wool fibers are good bio-indicators of the environmental status (soil, water and air pollution). The concentration of pollutants reflects either the feed and nutrition quality and the general health status of sheep as well as the climatic and environmental conditions. The sustainable and innovative alternative uses of this livestock waste could reduce and minimise keratinous waste disposal, reduce environmental impact and increase commercial process sustainability and circular economy.

The aim of this research was to investigate the degree of contamination of Sarda sheep wool to understand if wool fiber can be a contamination source for both the environment and human health.

Chemical analyses were carried out through Liquid chromatography Orbitrap mass spectrometry and Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Both analytical techniques were targeted for a wide range of micropollutants including pesticides, veterinary drugs and heavy metals. The results obtained in this study represent the first step for developing a new wool valorization chain.

Wool analysis can be an important strategy for the biomonitoring of human exposure to pesticides and for evaluating the quality of wool-based products.

How to cite: Bortolu, S., Azara, E., and Duce, P.: A naturally circular fibre: Sheep wool as a tool for assessing human and environmental exposure, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12409,, 2023.