This project primarily aims at the detailed investigation of the main geochemical and thermodynamic variables, which affect the process of serpentinization and secondly at the development and application of a reverse process, resulting as effectively as possible to the conditions prior to serpentinization.
This process is expected to reduce the serpentine content of industrial solid waste, so that the percentage of olivine rises above 80%, i.e., the altered waste rock could be converted into (useful) dunite again.
Moreover, during the project the utilization of the produced transformed dunite in refractory applications, such as firebricks and magnesium-olivine masses, will also be examined in laboratory and in industrial scale tests. The developed products will be innovative and are expected to show upgraded properties than the corresponding olivine products currently on the market. The transformation of serpentine into thermally-treated dunite is important not only in terms of environmental management (solid waste management) but also from an economic point of view.
The main objective of the project is the development and demonstration, both on a laboratory and on an industrial scale, of an added value product that is produced by the conversion of the enriched magnesite industrial waste. Utilization of this type of mining waste is essential for magnesite mines, since the mining waste post its proposed treatment (i.e., its alteration) can be used in another industrial activity (for the production of refractories).
The objectives of the project are within the framework of circular economy, green economy, sustainable development and the European Union guidelines for the development of technologies, which will be applied by industry and which will eventually produce zero waste management from all industrial activities. It also fulfills the National Objectives for Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialization (RIS3) in the field "Environment and Sustainable Development".