Through the CerOh! Strategies project, and with a clear focus on the low-carbon industry, we are making progress in studying the different ways to reduce CO2 emissions in the ceramic sector. We have also made progress in the study of energy consumption in this sector, as well as in the study of the use of energy optimization technologies.
The project is funded by the Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (IVACE) through the FEDER Regional Development Funds.
Advances in new ceramic compositions
In this second year of the project, the formulation of new ceramic compositions has been developed to reduce the firing temperature (more than 200º C) by the use of raw materials with a high content of melting compounds such as phosphorus and recycled glass.
Another important advance has been the achievement of carbonate-free tiles using high melting raw materials to reduce the firing temperature, such as recycled glass and talc. In addition, glazes and engobes have been formulated without using frit as a raw material to achieve different finishes. The application of these developments applied to full digital technology is being studied in order to obtain similar finishes.
Formulations of ceramic bodies with high mechanical resistance have also been developed, both dry and after firing, with the purpose to reduce the thickness of the ceramic tiles. In order to increase mechanical resistance after firing, the action has been taken on the composition and on process variables, such as the degree of grinding or the forming conditions, among others.
Energy consumption study
With regard to the energy transition activity, the current situation of the ceramic sector in terms of energy consumption has been analysed, as well as the use of energy optimisation technologies that have been implemented in recent years, in order to reduce energy consumption in the production process.
The collection of this information has served to establish a basic line, with which it will be possible to carry out a prospective towards an energy transition that will include new productive equipment not based on fossil energy sources, as well as the incorporation of renewable energies into the manufacturing process.
In addition, the consumption and suitability of non-fossil fuel processes, such as granulation technology, infrared drying, and electric firing methods, both surface and whole tile, are being studied over current processes using natural gas.
Finally, we are trying to obtain "unfired" tiles by developing low temperature glazes for alkali activated products and for silicone-calcareous products.