Thanks to the granting of the Call DGR No. 805 of 11/06/2019, promoted by the Veneto Region (Axis 1 "Research, Technological Development and Innovation" - Action 1.1.1: Support for research projects to companies that involve the use of researchers in the companies themselves), K-INN Tech is conducting an in-depth scientific study on the phenomenon of metal dust ignition.
The project is part of the POR FESR 2014-2020 and it focuses on the study of sustainable and innovative processes for the treatment and/or reuse of industrial waste. The project has been co-founded with a public contribution of 83.592,00 €.
The main drivers of the project are energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, with significant practical implications, such as the reuse of industrial waste and the use of green solutions.
In detail, the project concerns the study of the process of ignition and inertization of metallic powders (based on aluminum, iron, magnesium...), which create many problems for companies, especially in the their production and storage phases: such waste products, in fact, are characterized by high thermo-chemical instability and can ignite violently, especially in contact with water.
K-INN Tech has issued a double challenge: on one hand, the understanding of trigger phenomenon and how to inertize these materials; on the other hand, how to maximize and exploit the hydrogen that is obtained during their stabilization.
This research allows the development of an alternative technology, with a strong industrial impact, and allows for the production of clean energy from metal waste.
The goal of the study is to achieve full knowledge of the reaction mechanisms that occur during the self-heating of metal waste, in order to define:
- a procedure and an apparatus for detecting the reactivity of metallic powders, with a classification of the tendency and the risk of ignition of such powders in 3 different categories (very, little or non reactive powders);
- the guidelines for handling and storing such powders in establishments and installations.
For the implementation of this project, K-INN Tech followed two different approaches: an experimental campaign which involves the creation of specific set-ups and the use of analytical tools to monitor the self-heating of metallic dust, assess the efficiency of inertization treatments and quantify the risk of initiation. In addition, thanks to the support of mathematical models implemented ad hoc, it is possible to simulate the oxidation of a powder in contact with water and to describe the reaction kinetics with a shrinking core approach.