Lighthouse: Brescia

District of Brescia, Italy

Main drivers to join the project

  • For the region, to obtain a deeper understanding about the industrial waste in the territory of Brescia and reduce waste landfilling in line with the objectives set by public authorities and associations in the region

  • For steelmakers and foundries, to reduce purchase of virgin pig iron, scrap and coal and obtain new revenues streams from by-products selling

  • For Al producer, to increase the amount Al metal recovered and at the same time, avoid landfilling and share by-products

Brescia demosite partners

Sectors involved

  • Steel and Cast Iron

  • Aluminium


  • Industrial area coordinator: CSM

  • Number of companies: 6

  • Number of employees: 1500


  • Biochar

  • Metal powders

  • Slag

  • Dust

  • Sludge

  • Waste heat

Annual energy use


Overall concept of the demonstration activities to be implemented

The proposed demonstration deals

The proposed demonstration deals with the development of a framework for establishing an industrial symbiosis (IS) network in the Region of Brescia.

To this end, residues produced in a total of 4 companies will be treated with technologies already studied and validated under relevant conditions, so they can integrate pilot units that demonstrate the feasibility of the collaborative scheme for transforming industrial residues into raw materials for others or, eventually, recycled internally.

By-products from steel, cast iron and secondary aluminum production will be treated through the introduction of 4 novel technologies to recover metal, while interaction with rural communities will be fostered in order to analyze bioresources that could replace carbon fractions at these companies.

The overall proposed scheme is provided in the following Figure.


Energy efficiency


Energy intensity


CO2 emissions


Raw materials intensity


Waste generation
(metallic powder)

The overall demonstration will require the design and installation of

The demonstration activities to be performed at Brescia will be supported by a mapping activity that will start by collecting data about every possible pathway inside the territory for providing industrial resources without making use of virgin materials.

This step includes not only the input-output of industrial sectors but also the needs and residues for other territorial activities such as public services, recovery of contaminated sites, etc. Finally, a replication analysis for the use of slags as alternative raw materials will be performed within CORALIS, together with an assessment regarding the potential interaction of the waste heat recovery systems at Brescia region with the district heating and other potential uses for the recovered heat under an IS scenario.

Description of the demonstration readiness level towards Industrial Symbiosis (IS)

  • Legal dimension: Readiness to close deal. Current hurdles are related to restrictions in the landfilling of industrial waste, so their recovery and valorisation is expected to overcome these issues without implying further barriers to the normal operation of the involved industries. Moreover, the interest of public regional bodies and industrial association in the IS demonstration guarantees that there is willingness in promoting and facilitating this initiative, thus supporting the overcoming of additional legal issues that could arise.

  • Economic dimension: Readiness to invest. The industries involved in the Brescia demonstration have already performed a joint effort of analysing the overall economic impact of the initiative and show interest in exploiting the economic benefits the exchange and valorisation of industrial waste can provide to their daily operation.

  • Social dimension: Readiness to collaborate: All the industries in the Brescia territory and represented by the local association Confindustria Brescia have officially undertaken the task for significant reduction of the quantity of materials disposed in the provincial landfills.

  • Technical and spatial dimensions: Readiness of technology and land. The District of Brescia is one of the largest in Italy, with over 1,200,000 inhabitants and an area of 4,784.36 km². Brescia stands out for the excellence of its manufacturing processes as well as for the application of the best available technologies for the reduction environmental impacts.

All planned demonstration activities are foreseen in this area including, as mentioned earlier in this section, the following technologies:

  • a pyrolysis unit, a separation technology, a reducing furnace and a briquetting unit for the recovery of metals from residues, which will be carried out starting from different type of residues and with different technological solutions (TRL 7)

  • the adaptation of pulverised coal injectors for reducing fossil coal utilization and using instead biogenic materials available in the region (TRL7)

Main challenges to be addressed and barriers to be overcome

The main challenge is to coordinate the logistics, needs and required interactions among the various value chain actors in order to cover the production demand without affecting the availability and quality of product.

To this end, Brescia demonstrator gathers several stakeholders that can strongly interact in order to maximize the positive effects of an intersectorial approach.

The main barriers to be overcome are:

  • Contextual analysis of the territory for IS potentials (material and other resource flow, waste recovery already developed achievements, not recovered waste, residues)

  • The production of alternative raw materials for an industry, obtained from the treatment of by-products coming from another industry. All this assuring the quality, the sustainability of the technologies used and the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Equipment to be installed, modifications required and relevant activities for each stakeholder involved


IS facilitator: Chemical and physical characterization of the selected wastes (e.g. Chemical analysis, leaching test, phase distribution, thermophysical properties), definition and the operating conditions of the pre-treatments (briquette production) to be applied to such wastes. Preliminary phase of the preparation of the testing materials, performing heat and mass balances in industrial trials.


Support to local engineering, HSE aspects, energy and resource audits

Ori Martin

Metal recovery in steelmaking, by producing briquettes and using them in electric arc furnace (EAF) and foundry in substitution of scrap. For this activity the installation of equipment to produce briquettes is foreseen.


Metal recovery in steelmaking, by industrial trials in a pilot plant reproducing a reducing EAF and producing pig iron.


Metal recovery in foundry, by using separation technologies based on density and magnetic properties of materials. Use of biochar in substitution of coal with a dedicated injector equipped with a pneumatic system.


Metal recovery in secondary Al production, by a pilot pyrolysis plant, working in reducing atmosphere, and further production of reducing agents.

Confindustria Brescia

Contact with local/regional authorities, regional stakeholders’ mobilization

Other stakeholders

  • University of Brescia (subcontractor of RINA-CSM) support to the pilot projects regarding resource exchange among companies, technical, economical and other special guidance such as certification and sanitary aspects.

Targets of the overall IS demonstrator

  • Reduce the amount of alloys utilization in ferrous and non-ferrous metals production

  • Reduce the amount of scrap necessary in the steelmaking electric arc furnace

  • Eliminate the disposal of wastes containing metals and metal oxides

  • Reduce CO2 emissions

  • Improve processes efficiency