Events /

Our project coordinator Liesbeth Horckmans (VITO) will be speaking at the 7th PROMETIA Scientific Seminar, which will take place online on 10th December, 9:00-16:30 CET. This year’s seminar will report on the raw materials community’s main results and challenges that remain to be addressed in the next Horizon Europe research and innovation programme.
Horckmans will present the CHROMIC project at 11.25 during the session titled “From waste to resources”.

For more information about the event and agenda, please visit

The final conference of the CHROMIC project was held on November 19th. The full event registration is available below.

The order of the interventions in the video is as follows:

2:25 – Welcome by Marcin Sadowsky (European Commission)

9:04 – CHROMIC concept, goals and key results, presented by Liesbeth Horckmans (VITO, project coordinator)

18:20 – Preparing the slags for further treatment through physical separation, presented by Lena Kaipia (MEAM), Fero Kukurugya (VITO), Robert Moeckel (HZDR)

36:44 – Getting what we want, and only what we want: selective metal extraction from steel slags, presented by Pavel Ivashechkin (BFI)

51:27 – Purification and up-concentration to metal products, presented by Norman Kelly (HZDR), Elena Seftel (VITO), Lubomir Pikna (TUK)

1:22:16 – Putting it all together – flowsheet integration and validation, presented by Frédérique Bouillot (Orbix)

1:36:26 – Is it worthwhile? Integrating economic, environmental and health and safety assessment Koen Oorts (ARCHE)

1:56:03 – Metals and the circular economy: what do the people think? Presented by Federica Manzoli (formicablu)


The materials shown by the WP leaders and researchers involved in the project are also available here:

Koen Oorts (ARCHE, WP1 leader) presentation

Lena Kaipia (MEAM, WP2 leader) presentation

Pavel Ivashechkin (BFI, WP3 leader) presentation

Norman Kelly (HZDR, WP4 leader), Elena Seftel (VITO), Lubomir Pikna (TUKE), Pavel Ivashechkin (BFI) presentation

Frédérique Bouillot (Orbix, WP5 leader) presentation

Federica Manzoli (Formicablu, WP6) presentation




We are pleased to invite you to the final online conference of the CHROMIC project, which will take place as an online event on 19 November 2020 at 10 am.

Creating a circular economy – where all resources are kept at the highest possible level of functionality and value at all times – is key to building a sustainable future, where innovation and economic growth can happen without further depleting the planet’s resources.

The CHROMIC research project – funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 programme – aimed at creating building blocks of such an economy, focussing in particular on the metal industry. Over four years of work, It has investigated the selective recovery of  Chromium (Cr), Vanadium (V), Molybdenum (Mo) and Niobium (Nb) from metallurgical slags. These four metals are crucial for the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector and the innovation potential of high-tech sectors. Ensuring their steady supply is of strategic importance for the European industry.

During the conference, the CHROMIC partners will present the project results both at process and flowsheet level – from the preparation of the slags to their treatment, up to the purification of the final product and the valorisation of the residue.

These are all important first steps towards a true circular economy for the metals studied in CHROMIC, as well as for other critical raw materials.

The conference will also present the results of the economic, environmental and health & safety assessment of the processes studied and materials produced, as well as of participatory events (workshops and focus groups) that allowed CHROMIC to collect the views and expectations of European citizens about the occupational, environmental and health aspects of metal production and recovery. At the end, an interactive Q&A session will allow participants to share their perspective on the project.

Please register at this link:

in order to attend the conference.

Please feel free to forward this invitation to your colleagues and contacts.

We are looking forward to meeting you online – in the meantime do not hesitate to contact us if you need more information.


19 November 2020


Introduction – CHROMIC concept, goals and key results


Preparing the slags for further treatment through physical separation

This session will show how a combination of magnetic and density separation can up-concentrate Cr in an enriched fraction, while producing also metallic particles for direct reuse. Concentration of Cr is increased up to 3 times, while simultaneously reducing the amount of material to be leached.  


Getting what we want, and only what we want: selective metal extraction from steel slags

Selective alkaline leaching was chosen to extract metal from slags and make reuse of the residual matrix possible, avoiding the generation of large amounts of new waste streams. Different methods were evaluated, with traditional roasting allowing leaching rates of 100% for Cr and 33 % for V. Microwave roasting offers slightly lower rates, but is faster and more energy-efficient. 


Purification and up-concentration to metal products 

This session focusses on the separation and enrichment of the target elements from the leachates, and the transformation into final products. Two flowsheets will be presented: in one, with precipitation as a final step, a 99.99% removal of Cr with a purity of >99% was achieved. In the other, electrocoagulation resulted as a final step resulted in a complete removal of Cr.


Putting it all together – flowsheet integration and validation

The final step was to combine and upscale the best lab techniques identified in the three previous ones. Thanks to this process, from complex, low-grade waste streams, it could possible to recover more than 25,000 t Cr/year in Europe. Moreover, the residual matrix can still be carbonated for its valorisation as a construction material.


Is it worthwhile? Integrating economic, environmental and health and safety assessment 

Throughout the project, the economic, environmental and health and safety aspects of the processes studied and materials produced were assessed. When compared to current standard technologies, the economic viability and environmental friendliness of the integrated flowsheets strongly depends on the value of the starting material and the potential valorisation of the residual matrix materials.


Metals and the circular economy: what do the people think?   

Through three series of participatory events involving different stakeholders in four European countries, the CHROMIC project has gauged the level of knowledge, expectations and concerns of ordinary citizens, professional stakeholders and students when it comes to reinventing the metal value chain and orient it towards a circular economy. 



Interactive session – Q & A 

12:00 End of event


On 18th November 2019, the CHROMIC project was invited to present in the “Horizon 2020 Technology success stories” at the Raw Materials week (18-22 November 2019) in Brussels.



After a brief introduction on the overall CHROMIC concept, the talk (given by coordinator Liesbeth Horckmans) focused on the technological challenges and the importance of ensuring economic and environmental sustainability of the developed technologies. The key issues identified by the 1st iteration of the integrated assessment were discussed, and some examples were given of how these results were used to further improve the processes.


The full programme, presentations and photos are available for download at


“How to define the impact of new technologies?” was the title of a workshop on Sustainability Assessment (SA) organized on the 21st of November 2019 in Brussels by NEMO in collaboration with CHROMIC, METGROW+ and NEW-MINE, as a Satellite Event to the 4th Raw Materials Week. Approximately 20 participants from academia, research, industry and government discussed the challenges and future of sustainability assessment in the field of raw materials and beyond. The present article reports on the key lessons learned from the presentations and lively debate, and looks forward to the next events in this clustering track.


On 22nd November 2019 CHROMIC joined a wide group of EU H2020 projects to host a satellite event of the EU Raw Materials Week on “Public Acceptance and Social Impact of Mining and Mineral Recycling in Europe”.

The workshop aimed at setting a debate and proposing recommendations on how to improve public acceptance of mining activities, in a society in which these are – though essential for a transition to a low-carbon economy – often confronted with a negative reputation.

The satellite event was hosted by the projects NEMO, CROCODILE, TARANTULA, SecREEts, INFACT and CHROMIC itself and gathered representatives from industry, government, NGO, local citizens group, academia and international institution, who shared their points of view and provided recommendations before engaging in a lively debate on the topic of social acceptance with the numerous attendees of the event.

A detailed account of what emerged from the discussion can be found on the NEMO website at this page:


On 21st November, CHROMIC will participate in the satellite event of the Raw Materials Week 2019 named “How to define the impact of new technologies? A workshop on Sustainability assessment”. The workshop will gather a broad cluster of EU H2020 projects such as METGROW+(, NEMO( and CHROMIC itself, to discuss important issues regarding the economic sustainability and the beneficial impacts for the environment and for the whole society of the processes that are being developed to recover and valorize raw materials.

Questions such as how to determine the impact of resource recovery versus landfilling for such new processes and technologies will be presented and carefully addressed in an interactive debate aiming to formulate policy recommendations.

The event will take place at Le Plaza Hotel, Adolphe Maxlaan 118/126, 1000 Brussel.

To register, visit this page:

The programme of the workshop is the following:

14.00: Welcome and introduction to the workshop

14.15: Sustainability in recovering metals from secondary resources: Approach and lessons learned in METGROW+ and CHROMIC (Yoko Dams, VITO and Koen Oorts, ARCHE)

14.35: Sustainability in the mining sector: Approach and lessons learned in NEMO (Andrea di Maria, KU Leuven)

14.50: Sustainability in enhanced landfill mining: Approach and lessons learned in NEW-MINE (Karel Van Acker, KU Leuven)

15.00: Summary and common issues

15.15: coffee break

15.45-16.45: Interactive discussion

16.45: wrap-up and outlook to next event

17.00 – 18.00: networking cocktail


Our project coordinator Liesbeth Horckmans (VITO) will be speaking at the EU Raw Materials Week 2019 (Brussels, 18th-22nd November). She was invited to present the progress of CHROMIC during the event named “Horizon 2020 Technology Success Stories”, which will take place on the 18th.

The Raw Materials Week is the most important EU annual event in the sector, gathering a wide range of stakeholders to discuss raw materials policy and initiatives, to provide guidance to the European Commission, Members States and private actors on innovative approaches to the challenges related to raw materials.

The “Horizon 2020 Technology Success Stories” event is focused on tangible results and impact of the H2020 projects in the area of raw materials and more broadly on the benefits that industry and society will gain from their developments. Horckmans will participate in the session “Raw materials processing and recovery”, alongside, among others, representatives of CHROMIC’s closely related projects FAME (, METGROW+ ( and SCALE (

This represents an important opportunity to team up among projects that share the same overall goals of developing technologies to strengthen the mineral sector and improve the circular economy in the EU. The exchange of outcomes and methodologies that will result from the joint participation to the event will contribute to the accomplishments of those objectives.

Furthermore, as CHROMIC is now entering its final year, the event will also be useful for taking stock of all the work that has been done so far, as well as for gaining extra momentum to proficiently deal with the challenges that remain to be tackled.

30 September 2019 Events

Matti Buyle with VITO presented his research work within CHROMIC at the 9th International Conference on Life Cycle Management (LCM), which took place on 1st – 4th September in Poznan, Poland. The LCM conference series is one of the world’s leading forums for environmental, economic and social sustainability, focusing on practical solutions for the implementation of life cycle approaches into effective decision-making, whether in science, industry, NGOs or public bodies.

Buyle gave a talk in the special session “Emerging Technologies – Sustainable Future or Rising Risks?”. His presentation mainly focused on estimating the environmental impact of a technology on an industrial scale, based on lab-scale data only. By using the preliminary data of one slag type (CS slag), he showed how in CHROMIC the first steps have been taken to upscale the lab results and get an idea of the environmental profile on an industrial scale.

As Buyle reported, “This is particularly relevant, as the first iteration in CHROMIC is done and the presented results – even though very preliminary and highly uncertain – could be used to streamline further research efforts in the next iteration”.  

On 26th September Kathy Bru with BRGM will present the CHROMIC project at a technical event organized by AFOCO, an association that deals with the valorization and management of industrial by-product, bringing together the main French operators in the sector. The event is called “Creating economic and environmental value? With the alternative materials of course!” and will take place in Lille, France.

All the details about the event at

This project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program under Grant Agreement n° 730471

effiCient mineral processing and Hydrometallurgical RecOvery of by-product Metals from low-grade metal contaIning seCondary raw materials