Significant funding for research on circular economy of metals production

Metals are an integral part of construction and manufacturing in a modern society. Metals are characterised by advantageous properties, such as strength, formability, durability, and high degree of recyclability. The manufacturing of metals is energy and materials intensive and for this reason, the metals industry is also a large source of CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the metals industry is characterised by significant streams of by-products, from which a significant share is recycled back into the process. Tough global competition and stricter environmental regulations challenge the metal industry to strive for taking major steps towards more and more efficient production processes.

The ambition of the Symbiosis of Metals Production and Nature (SYMMET) project is to facilitate the improvement of material and energy efficiency in the materials production, recycling and reuse of materials in the metals manufacturing ecosystem. The focus is on the side-streams, most importantly slags, sludges, scales, waste heat and process waters. Furthermore, the project aims to promote creation of research-based innovations and new business. University of Oulu benefits the project with its know-how on treatment of dusts, sludges and process waters as well as on novel measurement technologies to be used for process control.

SYMMET gathers together a large consortium of metal producers, technology and service providers, SMEs and research institutes active in the metals production ecosystem. The partners of the project are Aalto University, Boliden Harjavalta Oy, Boliden Kokkola Oy, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Luxmet Oy, Outokumpu Stainless Oy, Outotec (Finland) Oy, Owatec Oy, SSAB Europe Oy, Tapojärvi Oy, University of Oulu, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Furthermore, Ferrovan Oy and Timegate Instruments Oy partipate as collaborative partners. SYMMET involves four research units of the University of Oulu and the principal investigator of the consortium is professor Timo Fabritius from Process Metallurgy Research Unit. The total budget of the two-year project is approximately €6.9 million, of which the budget of University of Oulu accounts for approximately €1.9 million. The project is funded by Business Finland and partners of the consortium.

The project preparation was coordinated by postdoctoral researcher Ville-Valtteri Visuri and professor Timo Fabritius, according to whom “SYMMET provides an excellent framework to study metals production from circular economy point of view and further strengthens the position of steel research in Oulu”.


Additional Information

Ville-Valtteri Visuri
Postdoctoral Researcher
Process Metallurgy Research Unit
University of Oulu
+358 50 412 5642
Timo Fabritius
Process Metallurgy Research Unit
University of Oulu
+358 40 554 6683

Last updated: 1.11.2018