Increasing raw material productivity is a stated goal of the Federal Government of Germany against the background of the National Sustainability Strategy (2002) and the German Resource Efficiency Program (since 2012). This goal can in reality be achieved by consistent improvement of the circular economy, including mass residues such as construction waste, ash, slags and residues from industrial production.
In many cases recovery of raw materials from residual materials is primarily focused on ‘technology metals’ because the added value here is highest. Recovery of the principal mass flow which is mainly mineral is currently often given secondary importance. A multi-component recovery – with as complete as possible recovery and positive environmental impacts – should be a declared goal for dealing with large residual material flows. Against this background, we are investigating, developing and evaluating mechanical and thermal processes for material separation as the building blocks of a sustainable recycling strategy. Secondary raw materials supplied to the circular economy must be environmentally compatible and meet the quality requirements of their intended use. Quality assurance and certification of secondary raw materials such as recycled construction materials are of great importance as they compete with products based on primary raw materials. BAM is working on issues of resource recovery and material recycling in research and development, as well as testing, analysis and approval.