PRESS RELEASE | Z-ONA4LIFE: Transforming the Aluminium Industry with Circular Solutions

PR English version

The concept of the circular economy, focused on minimising waste, optimising resources, and fostering continuous reuse and recycling, has moved to the forefront of global sustainability efforts. Embracing this vision, the EU-funded project Z-ONA4LIFE has embarked on a groundbreaking journey from September 1, 2023, to August 31, 2027, aiming to usher in a new era of circularity in the aluminium industry. This project aligns with strategic initiatives, including the Circular Economy Action Plan, the EU Industrial Strategy, the Waste Framework Directive, the European Green Deal, and the Sustainable Development Goals.


Revolutionising Aluminium Industry Circular Economy

At its core, the circular economy model seeks to create a regenerative and sustainable system. Z-ONA4LIFE fully embraces this vision by utilising innovative technologies and sustainable practices to efficiently manage and repurpose aluminium salt slag, thereby promoting circularity in the aluminium industry.

Aurora Lopez-Delgado, the coordinator of the Z-ONA4LIFE project, stated,

"The management of salt slag is a worldwide concern, and the aluminium industry must find a definitive solution. Z-ONA4LIFE envisions a holistic approach to salt slag recovery, transforming it into a value-added material, Z-ONA zeolite. This zeolite will address environmental problems associated with polluted effluents from various industrial sectors, fostering a symbiosis between industries and mitigating their shared environmental impacts."

Z-ONA4LIFE focuses on efficiently managing and repurposing aluminium salt slag, embracing a holistic approach to environmental recovery. The project operates across four critical stages:

  • Waste Selection: Addressing hazardous aluminium salt slag and Si-rich waste and exploring recovery options
  • Products, Process, and Scaling-up: Producing Z-ONA zeolite from aluminium slag, scaling up to a pilot plant level, and recovering valuable by-products
  • Circularity and Near Zero Waste: Utilising Z-ONA zeolite in various applications, enhancing composting with spent zeolite, and harnessing gases for commercial use
  • Sustainability and Results Exploitation: demonstrating scalable Z-ONA zeolite manufacturing on a pilot scale, ensuring wide project replication, and promoting sustainability.

The project further advances the circular aluminium concept with five key phases:

  • Pre-treatment of aluminium salt slag and Si-rich waste
  • Manufacture of Z-ONA zeolite at a pilot scale
  • Brine treatment and recovery of sub-products
  • Application of Z-ONA zeolite for effluent depuration
  • Recovery of spent zeolite for composting

Z-ONA4LIFE aims for a broad impact by fostering knowledge sharing and raising awareness about sustainable resource recovery. It enhances waste management, promotes resource reduction, reduces emissions, and safeguards soil quality.

Download the official Press Release

(The Z-ONA4LIFE Press Release is also available in the Spanish language.)


The Z-ONA4LIFE Kick-Off Meeting

On September 13, 2023, in Madrid, the Z-ONA4LIFE consortium convened its inaugural meeting, a noteworthy milestone in this ambitious endeavour dedicated to revolutionizing the aluminium industry and propelling the global circular economy forward. Click here to learn more.

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