The technology is covered by two family of patents, i.e. WO2016169780 and EP15382205. The IP is protected thus full Freedom to Operate is already assessed. The work to be done in the project will be specifically oriented to improve the waste management of a copper smelting and refining company, Atlantic Copper.
A demonstrator will be developed, DIGISER++ demo furnace, with a capacity to treat up to 15.000 tons/year, to implement and validate in operational environment. During the last two years, the DIGIMET technology has been validated up to TRL5 for valorisation of wastes coming from copper and tin smelting companies and now the challenge is to reach TRL7. The project consortium includes the whole value chain for the development, validation and commercialization of the technology. TECNALIA and CEA are the technology providers to develop the technology from TRL5 to TRL7. After the two-year project and the validation milestone using ATLANTIC COPPER wastes, the development will continue during the following two years to bring the technology to its full operational capacity. DIGIMET will be the responsible of the commercialization of the technology through the Go-to-Market (GTM) assessment developed in the project.
The environmental and economic impact of the application of this technology in the copper production process will be studied by ILV and all the knowledge generated will be transferred to the community and the different group of stakeholders by UGENT through innovative online training courses. According to the proposed strategy, from 2023 on DIGIMET will be able to commercialize the technology to metallurgical companies interested in improving their waste management. Preliminary economic assessment of DIGISER++ solution performed for Atlantic Copper case shows Return Of Investment (ROI) below 3 years, confirming the interest of the technology. However, the potential impact of the innovation will not be only focused on the copper sector but also in the KIC Community in general.