SeRaMCo: Secondary Raw Materials for Concrete Precast Products

Project Summary

The construction sector is the most resource intensive industrial sector in the EU. It uses around 50% of the available primary raw materials, hence exhausting the natural resources, degrading environment and generating high costs to the business operators.

Although there is potential for the use of secondary raw materials from construction and demolition waste (CDW), this is far from becoming mainstream in Europe. For the time being, the sector uses only 4% of the recycled construction and demolition waste (CDW), although CDW represents the largest waste stream in the EU, accounting for 1/3 of the overall European waste.

Against this background, this situation is not dire in the whole of Europe. Some North-Western Europe (NWE) countries, namely Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands are leading the way in recycling CDW. Depending on the individual country, these rates range from 70-95%.

However, although waste recycling rates in NWE are impressive, business operators from the construction sector are still faced with challenges in placing their recycled products on the market. This is primarily due to the fact that there is still no niche market for concrete products made from the recycled materials.  The lack of a niche market is accompanied by the lack of a clear-cut legislative framework in certain NWE states and inability to make precise cost estimations reflecting both social and economic costs of the production.

To make the most out of the available resources, SeRaMCo aims to replace primary raw materials with the high-quality materials recycled from CDW, e.g. concrete, bricks, tiles and ceramics (CBTC), in production of the cement and concrete products for use in NWE. To attain this goal, the project will:

  • analyse and improve sorting of CDW, as a precondition for successful recycling;

  • develop and test new concrete mixes and technologies for the production of concrete precast products (CPPs) made from the recycled CBTC;

  • establish a market niche for CPPs, leading to the economic advantages for the CPP producers and generating new jobs in the construction sector.

SeRaMCo’s expected outputs are cement and CPPs from up to 100% recycled aggregates, comparable to conventional products both in terms of costs and quality, and ready for commercialization in NWE.

Prior to rolling-out across NWE and Europe as a whole, SeRaMCo will test its end-products in 3 pilot areas, namely City of Seraing (Belgium), City of Saarlouis (Germany) and Region of Moseille (France). Following the testing phase, previously developed business models, supporting the supply chain of the new market niche and establishing ecosystem with stakeholders active in the field, will be put in place.

Project Partners


    110 Sart d'Avette

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  • Beton - Betz GmbH

    46 Rappenauer Str.

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  • Vicat

    16 Route de Pierreville

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  • Schuttelaar & Partners

    199, bus 22 Belliardstraat

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  • TRADECOWALL SCRL - Traitement des Déchets de Construction en Wallonie

    24 Rue du Tronquoy

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  • Université de Liège

    9 Quartier Polytech - Allée de la découverte

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  • University of Luxembourg

    162 A Avenue de la Faïencerie
    Luxembourg (LU)

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  • Université de Lorraine

    34 cours Léopold
    Nancy cedex
    CS 25233 54052

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  • Delft University of Technology

    134 Julianalaan

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  • Centre for Studies and Expertise on Risks, Environment, Mobility, and Urban and Country Planning

    71 rue de la Grande Haie
    Nancy cedex

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  • Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

    14 Paul-Ehrlich-Str.

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Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Technische Universität Kaiserslautern 14 Paul-Ehrlich-Str.
Name Contact Name Email Country
PREFER Bolle René Belgium
Beton - Betz GmbH Herbert Kahmer> Germany
Vicat Laury Barnes-Davin France
Schuttelaar & Partners Bea Rofagha Belgium
TRADECOWALL SCRL - Traitement des Déchets de Construction en Wallonie Mariage Thibault Belgium
Université de Liège Luc Courard Belgium
University of Luxembourg Danièle Waldmann Luxembourg
Université de Lorraine André Lecomte France
Delft University of Technology Ulrich Knaack Netherlands
Centre for Studies and Expertise on Risks, Environment, Mobility, and Urban and Country Planning Davy Prybyla France


Secondary raw materials in design and architecture

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The increasing importance of recycling concrete is undeniable: its production is highly energy consuming, while sand and aggregates are becoming scarcer every day. Since low and medium cost construction is responsible for the majority of cement use, and therefore for the majority of adverse effects, there is a real opportunity to make a difference using secondary resources for the production of concrete precast products. Read More

Identifying perspectives for innovative construction waste recycling

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SeRaMCo aims at upcycling construction waste such as concrete, bricks, tiles and ceramics to turn them into valuable secondary raw materials for the production of concrete precast products. Such products should eventually be equal in terms of quality and price to those made from primary raw materials. New cutting-edge technologies are required to innovatively recycle construction site waste and to evaluate the general feasibility and relevance based on prototypes. Beton-Betz’s involvement within SeRaMCo focuses mainly on: - Developing innovative recycling methods for the end-product plants; - Developing new and optimized mixed-concrete formulas using recycled gravel and sand; - Selecting suitable types of pre-cast concrete to apply the new formulas. Read More

Recycling of construction and demolition waste in cement

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Treatments of construction and demolition waste (CDW) produce aggregates with sizes ranging from few micrometers to several centimeters. Because of the high water absorption and impurities in the finest fraction (grain size below 2 mm), recycled sands can hardly be used as secondary raw materials for concrete production. Therefore, in the framework of the SeRaMCo project, University of Lorraine and the cement manufacturer Vicat use these fine recycled aggregates as raw material for the production of cement. Read More

Technical aspects of CDW recycling

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The University of Liège (Wallonia, Belgium) is working on the technical aspects of recycling sands and aggregates from construction and demolition waste (CDW). Their analyses focus on the best processes for treating CDW with regard to three points: the washing process, fragmentation, and the compressive strength and durability of mortar and concrete. The ultimate objective is to position recycled aggregates and sands as a true alternative to primary raw materials in construction. Read More

The importance of waste recycling - an interview with Tradecowall

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The quality of secondary raw materials depends strongly on the grade of sorted recycled aggregates. Therefore, the waste recycling companies are an important part of the recycling chain, as their activities are in the beginning of the ‘’new life’’ of secondary raw materials. We asked Robin Chapelle, Project Manager at Tradecowall, Belgian enterprise for recycling of construction & demolition waste (CDW) to introduce us to the work of his company within the SeRaMCo project. Read More

Partner meeting in Liège

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From 27-28 November 2017, the General Assembly of the SeRaMCo project took place in Liège, Belgium. More than thirty partners from five different NWE-regions as well as seven members of the advisory board gathered during this two-day event to discuss SeRaMCo’s progress since its launch in 6 months ago. Read More


In the press

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