Work Package 1 – A Review

Refractory Recycling ReSoURCE - WP 1

Now a very long time ago after the notification of acceptance of our submitted proposal, Alex asked me if I would take over the lead of WP 1 “Material management and sampling”. And I thought, oh wow, it’s the first time RHI Magnesita is leading a European funded project, and me starting with the first of eleven work packages, that serves as the foundation and basis for the whole project. However, challenge accepted and after the kick-off meeting in June 2022 held in Leoben, Austria, my team and I worked intensively and enthusiastically on three tasks for the next 12 months.

In task one we identified the breakout materials to be focused on during the project according to the current market situation and the importance for recycling. We planned the sourcing and representative sampling of appropriate feedstock materials from the steel and cement industry and performed three sampling campaigns at the RHI Magnesita MIRECO recycling center in Mitterdorf. We established extensive sample distribution lists, where we tried to fulfill satisfactorily all the partners needs and requirements, especially regarding sample processing, to guarantee optimal starting conditions for their work in the other work packages. In particular, the part of sample preparation connected with sample information acquisition and formatting took us a lot of efforts, maybe more than originally thought, and we tried to give our partners a closer look into the world of refractory materials.

After internal process data capturing, sample collection and detailed material characterization by chemical and mineralogical investigations, in the second task we defined the material categories and target specifications for the pursued sorting classes. That plays a key role for the right sorting decisions of our automated sorting equipment to be developed. Additionally, this technical deliverable was critical to our project as it contains precise material specifications, and besides was hopefully very useful for our partners to get a better idea about our sorting objectives.

In task three we carried out on-site visits at customers from the steel, cement, and lime industry as potential providers for refractory recycling material to evaluate the breakout procedure, material condition and waste management there, and consequently identify potentials for our process developments. Furthermore, this was also important for our project team to get a clearer view of the applied demolition practices, recycling routines and the received secondary raw materials.

These three tasks finally led to the successful submission of three deliverable reports and the achievement of one milestone. I really want to thank all the partners for their participation in our bi-weekly or monthly meetings and their contribution over the entire period. A special thanks goes to Stefan, Katja, Thomas, Thomas, Simone, and Alex for the excellent teamwork at RHI Magnesita, without them it would not have been possible to successfully finish the ambitious goals set in this first work package. Altogether, this last 12 months were very exciting for us, and we are looking forward to further supporting our partners and keep on successfully working on our ReSoURCE project.

Refractory Recycling ReSoURCE - Sandra Koenigshofer

Author’s Portrait

Sandra Koenigshofer

Dr. Sandra Königshofer is a Pioneer Research Associate at RHI Magnesita. She studied industrial environmental protection, waste management and process engineering at Montanunivertät Leoben. Sandra joined the Pioneer Research department in 2015 after finishing her dissertation in the field of processing and recycling of refractories.

Refractory Recycling ReSoURCE - Sandra Koenigshofer

Sandra Koenigshofer


Dr. Sandra Königshofer is a Pioneer Research Associate at RHI Magnesita.