Argenta is taking part in CerOh!, a project to reduce CO2 emissions in the ceramics industry

Since 2019, Argenta Cerámica, S.L. has been participating in “Circular economy strategies for a low-carbon ceramics industry (CerOh!Strategies)”, a project presented by ITC-AICE in the call for applications for funding of Technological Centres in the Valencian Community to develop R&D projects performed in cooperation with companies from the Valencian Business Competitiveness Institute (Instituto Valenciano de Competitividad Empresarial – IVACE).

The aim of the CerOh!Strategies project is to study strategies based on circular economy principles to adapt the ceramic tile manufacturing industry to the low-carbon scenario envisaged for 2050. This objective is a technological demand for companies in our industrial sector. .

Strategies have been designed with the following specific objectives:

  • Process optimisation. Optimisation is carried out not only from the point of view of the process but also from the viewpoint of the materials. Formulations are being developed that make it possible to reduce the energy consumption of the stages and so cut CO2 emissions. In addition, forward planning is being conducted and the existing information on new production processes is being expanded. These include dry milling, microwave drying, firing in electric furnaces and double firing (with a second superficial firing of the glaze).
  • Optimisation of current products. Producing frit-free glazes (the frit production process causes high CO2 emissions) and reducing the thickness of the base without decreasing its mechanical resistance, among others. In addition, there will be a study of full-digital decoration systems as an alternative to the current glazing systems.
  • Energy transition. Analysis of the current situation in the sector regarding energy consumption, as well as energy optimisation technologies that have been implemented in recent years, in order to reduce energy consumption in the production process. The future scenarios include the possibility of implementing CO2 capture technologies.
  • Life-cycle analysis. A study of environmental impacts using life-cycle analysis and cost calculation.
  • Implementation of Industry 4.0 concepts. This allows multilateral communication and interconnectivity between physical systems and people.

Preliminary conclusions:

  • Improvement to the spraying process. Increase in solid content of around 6% higher than currently.
  • Development of compositions with firing temperatures 100-300ºC lower than current ones.
  • Feasibility of microwave drying.
  • Feasibility of electric furnaces.
  • Optimising glaze preparation.
  • Improving carbonate-free coating compositions.
  • Alignment of processes with Digitisation 4.0: this contributes to improving the analysis of process costs.

This project has been funded by IVACE in conjunction with ITC-AICE and the participation of: Tierra Atomizada, Amizalasa, Guzman Global and Argenta Cerámica.