The European project LIFE EGGSHELLENCE: A potential raw material for ceramic wall tiles (REF.:LIFE10/ENV/ES/000121) links two very different production sectors: egg production and processing and ceramic production. Both sectors have established an industrial symbiosis in accordance with the principles of the Circular Economy, in this case, reusing the waste of thousands of tonnes of eggshells produced each year to process them as raw material in the manufacture of ceramic tiles.
According to ITC's LIFE EGGSHELLENCE lead researcher, Dr Francisca Quereda: "The idea for the project came from identifying a problem in the egg processing industry, as it is estimated that around 150,000 tonnes of eggshells are generated in Europe and are destined for landfill. These often cause problems, such as bad odours or the growth of bio-organisms, which lead to complaints and denunciations.
The need to protect virgin and non-renewable raw materials together with the previous experience of the members of this project in the field of ceramic processing and waste valorisation, has encouraged the consortium to try to demonstrate the technical feasibility of using eggshell as a secondary raw material in the production of ceramic tiles, as the calcium carbonate contained in eggshell is used in ceramic compositions.
Thus, LIFE EGGSHELLENCE will enable industrial symbiosis, achieving a circular economy between two sectors that will generate two new value chains and new business models that can be replicated on an international scale.
Funded by the LIFE 2014-2020 Environment and Climate Action Programme of the European Union (REF: LIFE19 ENV/ES/000121), with the support of IVACE of the Generalitat Valenciana.