The 2nd International Slag Valorisation Symposium is jointly hosted by:

  1. the Centre for High Temperature Processes and Industrial Ecology, and the THERMO Research Group, which are both part of the Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering of the KULeuven (Belgium)
  2. the Centre for Resource Recovery and Recycling, European Branch
  3. SMaRT-Pro² IRF K.U.Leuven Knowledge Platform

Centre for High-Temperature Processes, Metallurgy and Refractory materials

This University of Leuven research Centre (established 1/1/2007) consists of a co-operation between the research group 'Thermodynamics for Material and Process Development' (dep. MTM) and leading materials and recycling companies, including ArcelorMittal, Umicore and Group Machiels. The Centre is closely affiliated with CR³ and SMaRT-Pro². The mission statement of the Centre is "To enhance the ecological and economical sustainability of high-temperature processes, using an interdisciplinary and holistic research approach, targeting (mainly) competitive projects, which are problem driven and science-deep". The Competence domains are:

  • Vessel integrity (mitigating refractory wear, freeze lining solutions),
  • High-temperature experimentation (vacuum induction furnace, tube furnaces, CSLM, slag granulation, etc.),
  • High-temperature process modeling,
  • Industrial ecology (process + methodological approach),
  • Microstructural characterisation (FEG EPMA-WDS/EDS, SEM-EDS, e-SEM, FIB, QXRD, XRF, MS, etc.).

The Application domains include:

  • Ferrous industries,
  • Non-ferrous Industries,
  • Residue valorisation and building materials.

For the base funding (60 k€/year) two types of projects are performed. Specific projects include short, targeted projects, feasibility studies, definition and writing of research proposals to outside sponsors. The second type consists of "general work". General projects should strengthen the scientific and technical expertise of the Centre. The main goal of the Centre is, however, to initiate larger industry/academia competitive research projects.

For the competence domain "Industrial Ecology" the Center interacts with the "Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling" (CR³) and the SMaRT-Pro² K.U.Leuven Knowledge Platform (led by Prof. Tom Van Gerven), who both focus more on pre-competitive projects.

Through the partnership with a highly networked academic group, Centre Partners are continuously exposed to new ideas, bright students and researchers. The centre allows access to state-of-the-art experimental and characterisation equipment and modeling software, providing a higher base level of relevant expertise. It mainly acts as a flywheel for larger industrial projects, that may be government sponsored. The center is open for new members.

More info? Contact Dr. Peter Tom Jones or Prof. Bart Blanpain.

THERMO Research Group

The THERMO Group stands for Thermodynamics in Materials Engineering. Thermodynamic analysis relates to the equilibrium state of materials and materials systems to macroscopic variables such as pressure, temperature, composition and stress. Combined with experimental observations of phases and the measurement of their composition, it creates the framework to understand materials and processes and presents opportunities to improve materials properties and processes used in materials production. Materials and processes, however, are seldom in a state of equilibrium. It is therefore essential to also study phenomena such as reactions, diffusion, segregation and solidification that bridge the gap between equilibrium and non-equilibrium states. It is in this broad domain that the group is active with theoretical and experimental research in both basic and applied subjects.

The research competences of this group are divided into six main categories:

  • Phase Equilibria
  • Materials Characterisation
  • High Temperature Experimentation
  • Process Modeling
  • Microstructure evolution modeling
  • Industrial Ecology

The conducted research finds its application in the following domains:

  • Iron & Steel Metallurgy
  • Non-ferrous Metallurgy
  • Building Materials
  • Nanotechnology

For more information, contact:
Prof. Bart Blanpain ( or
Prof. Patrick Wollants ( or visit the website.


The Industrial Knowledge Platform on Sustainable Materialisation of Residues from Thermal Processes into Products - SMaRT-Pro² - brings together research groups within the K.U.Leuven Association to collaborate on the valorisation of inorganic byproducts, such as solid waste and carbon dioxide, from industrial processes. Working closely with industry, government and civil society, the generic goal is to strengthen knowledge on valorisation of inorganic industrial by-products and provide a formal platform that can enhance the closing of industrial material cycles in Flanders and abroad.

Various types of waste-to-product valorisation are addressed. Besides the technological barriers, also non-technical issues are hampering treatment and recycling, such as market opportunities, governmental and societal support, multi-actor relationships and ecological relevance. The conceptual design of the Knowledge Platform incorporates both the scientific work (see website) as well as the broader valorisation work. It also illustrates the relation of this Platform with parallel initiatives such as the Enhanced Landfill Mining Consortium (, coordinated by P. T. Jones, and the more fundamental work performed on reference materials (e.g. olivine/serpentine, construction and demolition waste) in several of the groups involved.

For more information, contact:
Prof. Tom Van Gerven (Dept. of Chemical Engineering):
Dr. Peter Tom Jones (Dept. of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering):
Prof. Karel Van Acker (Dept. of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering):

CR³ (Centre for Resource Recovery and Recycling)

EU Branch:

The Materials Resource Recovery and Recycling I/UCRC centre anticipates a future that values and increasingly strives to achieve materials sustainability. We are progressing towards a time when materials recovery and recycling are no longer an afterthought, but rather represent a critical consideration in the design and manufacture of materials and products. In the future, the efficiency of materials recovery from the waste stream will increase and recycled scrap will be the preferred input material for materials processes yielding both energy and cost saving.

Research within the Centre for Resource Recovery and Recycling I/UCRC will build the basic science, generic solution strategies, and precompetitive, innovative recovery and recycling technologies for a broad spectrum of industries, products, and materials.

Recently, a European branch of this Centre was established with the K.U.Leuven as the convenor.

Relationship between the Centre, CR³ and SMaRT-Pro²

The two figures below show the relationships between the three Centres. The Centre for High Temperature Processes, Metallurgy and Refractory Materials has a broad focus domain, with industrial ecology being one of the key Competence Areas. This Centre is especially oriented towards competitive, confidential R&D Projects with its core members. In the case of the two other industrial ecology Centres - CR³ and SMaRT-Pro² - the targeted projects are rather precompetitive and generic.

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