In the context of the Hubs4Circularity Community of Practice, a number of expert workshops take place on specific subtopics of industrial symbiosis, industrial-urban symbiosis and circular economy on the state of the art, current research and bottlenecks.

On 23rd June 2023, a group of experts from research institutes and industry discussed industrial symbiosis in the steel, metals and minerals industries. Focal areas for industrial symbiosis projects in this domain are the use of slags, the use of scrap, CO2 capture, storage and utilization (CCS/CCU), and the use of new energy carriers, in particular hydrogen and green power.

Precise monitoring of the composition of the streams that are exchanged and the ability to adapt the processing to varying compositions was mentioned as a key prerequisite for industrial symbiosis. The intermittency of demand and supply poses a big challenge to the use of green power and waste heat. With the upcoming changes of production technologies, all flows of materials and energy have to be reworked – both within the highly integrated plants and with other sectors.

The expert workshop participants stressed the difficult and uncertain framework conditions in Europe regarding regulations, taxation, and subsidies. They identified the uncertainty about future conditions as a major obstacle to investments into new technologies which have a lifetime of decades.

Image source: Sebastian Engell, ZEDO