Retrofeed final event: Digitalisation for circular resource-intensive industries


After a challenging and rewarding four-year journey, the RETROFEED project hosted its final event in Brussels, Belgium, and online, on the 25th of October. 

The event was geared towards showcasing its final remarkable results and discussing future possibilities for their uptake by other companies, market players, and legislators. 

Thus, the event brought around 40 experts, stakeholders, and innovators together to discuss and celebrate the project’s transformative contributions. 

This project, financed by Horizon Europe, sets important standards in Europe’s journey toward the decarbonization of heavy industry. 

In this context, Lucia Fernandez Marcia, representing the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA), highlighted, with a keynote speech, the project’s significance in the context of European industry and sustainability, and for the success of SPIRE Partnerships (Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency), as it contributes to driving forward long-term systemic changes required to create a cleaner, greener, fairer society. 

Looking at the ongoing programming period, Ms. Fernandez Marcia focused the attention on the new calls for the Processes4Planet partnership with a deadline of 7 February 2024. 


Ludo Diels, an Advisory Board Member of A.SPIRE, moderated the session around the sector insights and challenges from the demo-sites in the sectors of ceramics, cement, aluminum, steel, and the agrochemical sector, focusing on what they can learn from their trials and each other. 

The second roundtable discussion, moderated by EEIP President Rod Janseen, explored the digitalization efforts aimed at enhancing competitiveness in European resource-intensive industries, and the market potential for the RETROFEED solution (see below).  

Following this, participants engaged in a quiz play session hosted by EEIP, adding an element of fun to the event and had the chance to win a solar-powered charger and a charger with a tea-cup warmer embedded. 


The RETROFEED project has yielded results with versatile applications that extend far beyond its original scope. These outcomes are not confined to a single company but can seamlessly integrate into various aspects of industrial operations. Within the same company, the solutions of RETROFEED can apply across multiple fronts, affecting furnaces, kilns, electric arc furnaces (EAFs), burners, and more, all housed within the same facilities or operating under the same corporate umbrella. 

Furthermore, the reach of these advancements can be potentially replicated in other projects and industrial sectors. For instance, CIRCE’s Visual Camera for monitoring raw material melting rates inside the furnace, utilized in TORRECID, brings a new level of precision and insight to the steel and agrochemical sectors, bolstering their competitive edge. 

From a horizontal perspective, another key solution that can be easily replicated in similar sectors is the Digital Information System developed by OPTIT SRL, which supports business or organizational decision-making activities in complex processes leveraging data and algorithms. 

“Embracing a Decision Support System is not just an option; it’s the key to unlock data-driven insights, streamline processes, and ensure your business remains competitive in the market,” presented Luca Ferrari from OPTIT SRL. 

It is remarkable to highlight that some of these solutions have already reached TRL9 because of the relevant expertise of the industrial and engineering companies in the consortium, and a higher TRL upscaling and industrial-grade level is expected within 6-12 months after project closure. 

Some key takeaways from yesterday’s final event: 

Looking ahead and after the lifespan of the project, partners agreed that it is key to

Keep the dialogue ongoing with other energy-intensive industries,  

Combine different challenges across different sectors and subsectors, such as hydrogen production in an integrated way;  

Embrace DSS systems to unlock data-driven insights, streamline processes, and make them more efficient. From the beginning of the project, it is was evident how complex companies’ structures are and how difficult is to collect the data needed from the different database. We need to do much more on data planning on the backend. 

• Engage all stakeholders in the value chain and nurture the companies’ mindset to continue reducing CO2 emissions;  

• Seek support from regulators to harmonise legislations across countries and engage consumers to see the added value of less polluting products on the market. 

To sum up, the RETROFEED project’s special event in Brussels provided a comprehensive overview of the significant achievements and ongoing challenges in the journey towards decarbonization and digitalization in European resource-intensive industries. 

Beyond the collaboration, partners are committed to work further and accelerate the uptake of the technological and digital solutions. Each demo-site has very clear objectives and a clear set of actions they have to implement to achieve even more energy efficiency improvements. 

Technical Workshop: Towards more efficient cement industries

In our ever-evolving world of industry and technology, innovation plays a vital role in shaping the future. On Monday, 18th September 2023, from 11:30 to 13:00 CEST, we invite you to join us for an insightful event aimed at advancing innovation in the cement industry. This event brings together experts and thought leaders to explore the latest developments, tools, and achievements in the field.

We kick off the event with a warm welcome and an introduction to RETROFEED, the innovative project at the forefront of enhancing sustainability and efficiency in the cement industry. Our hosts for this session are Olga Lysenko from IVL and Roberto Arevalo from CIRCE, who set the stage for the exciting discussions to follow.

CIRCE’s Antonio Alcaide takes the stage to explore the digital transformation initiatives that are reshaping the cement industry. Discover how technology is driving positive changes and increasing the industry’s competitiveness.

Jorge Arroyo, also from CIRCE, discusses the innovative flame visualization monitoring tool. Learn how this tool provides valuable insights into the combustion process, a critical aspect of cement production.

AIMEN’s Francisco Rodriguez presents a state-of-the-art quality measurement monitoring system designed specifically for clinker production. Explore how this system contributes to enhanced product quality and efficiency.

Valter Tavares from SECIL will guide us through the main achievements on a cement demo site. Gain valuable insights into real-world applications of cutting-edge technology in cement manufacturing.

To foster engagement and address your inquiries, we’ve dedicated time for a question and answer session. This session will be hosted by Olga Lysenko from IVL and Diego Redondo from CIRCE. It’s your opportunity to interact with the experts and clarify any doubts.

Download the slides for more information.

Transforming the metal-making industry: Showcases for retrofitting and circularity

How to transform the metal-making industry for greater circularity? 

Meeting the Green Deal target is an enormous challenge for the metal sector considering its energy intensity, and at the same time, metals are key enablers of the transition to a circular and climate neutral European economy, and essential to EU’s strategic autonomy and resilience.

At the invitation of three EU-funded projects, RETROFEED, REVaMP and INITIATE, 35 professionals gathered on 26 September to present and discuss showcases for retrofitting and circularity in the metal-making industry stemming from the projects’ experience with characterisation and intelligent use of metal scrap (REVaMP), decision support and retrofitting tools (RETROFEED), and Industrial symbiosis between the steel and ammonia sectors (INITIATE). A panel discussion with end-users (SIDENOR, ARCELORMITTAL and ASAS) further explored the challenges for uptake and replication of the solutions. Demand for “green” metals is growing, and with it the incentives for producers to invest in innovative technologies such as those developed through Horizon Europe research projects. 

Watch the session below or download the slides for more information. 

Many thanks to our speakers, Jean Théo Ghenda from EUROFER, Bernd Kleimt from REVaMP, Roberto Avalero Turnes and Luca Ferrari from RETROFEED, Eric van Dijk from INITIATE, Diana Meir from SIDENOR, Marian Flores Granobles from ARCELORMITTAL and Tutku Özen from ASAS for sharing their insights and expertise. 


As part of its mission to promote knowledge sharing, the RETROFEED project, in collaboration with its consortium partners, organized a series of workshops, with each session focused on a specific sector solution within the project.

On 13th October, RETROFEED project organized an online technical workshop called “towards more efficient aluminium and steel industries” conducted by Olga Lysenko (IVL). First, Roberto Arevalo (CIRCE) provided an overview of the project. Then, Aleksandra Kiedrzyńska (IEN) and Andrea De Vito (CSM) explains the technical aspects of the digital twins developed for aluminium and steel industries, respectively. They explained  how they create the digital twins, taking into account the inputs and the outputs and also the models obtained, that are key for the Decision Support System (DSS) of RETROFEED. Then, Tutku Özen (ASAS) and Daniele Olivieri (FENO) show the retrofitting actions implemented in their demo sites with very good impacts such as a reduction of 75% of GHG emissions and an increase of resource energy of 57% in ASAS or a reduction of anthracite consumption of 20% using tire grains instead in FENO.

Watch or rewatch this session below:


The European Sustainable Energy Week took place, this year, from the 20th to the 22nd of June, in Brussels and online. In this edition, 7 plenaries and 61 policy sessions took place, RETROFEED, in a joint communication and dissemination action with RE4Industry – 100% Renewable Energies for Industries, was one of the 35 selected stands at the Energy fair. 

The EUSEW offered, once again, fresh opportunities to deliver and lead Europe’s clean energy transition, and RETROFEED was one of the chosen projects to be present at this event, for its potential to deliver real and manageable solutions for the energy transition occurring, especially by the Energy Intensive Industries in Europe.

It was a huge opportunity to reach out to more people, and interested parties, and establish new contacts with like-minded projects, with common goals and objectives. The outcome was very interesting, in the sense that EUSEW visitors were most of the time curious and interested in what story the project had to tell.

A very fruitful event, in which RETROFEED was proud to take part. 


Another RETROFEED meeting has been held on 4th and 5th May in Castellón (Spain) to update the status of the project and visit the installations of TORRECID, and, specially, the ones related with RETROFEED project. 

It was great to see that all new sensors to be developed within RETROFEED such as the camera that registers the heap of feedstock and the flame visualisation monitoring tool both developed by CIRCE and the quality monitoring system for clinker developed by AIMEN have been installed and it is expected that working in the following weeks.

Also, DSS has been released for all demo sites. Now, partners are testing it and making fine-tuning, but the first results have already been observed after using it such as reduction of waste, water, and electricity consumption! 

Moreover, workshops for each demo site were conducted, where involved partners explained the status of the developments and the planning for the following months: 

  • In TORRECID (ceramic sector, Spain), they are finishing the long tests campaign of the DSS and the new sensors and equipment installed (by-pass for combustion air pre-heating, camera for monitoring heap of feedstock, etc.). They are right now evaluating the impact of the retrofitting actions.
  • In SECIL (cement sector, Portugal), the flame monitoring tool is working properly and the new quality monitoring system for clinker is almost ready. Moreover, the installation of the new satellite burner will be done during mid-June and tests of the final version of DSS will start after the commissioning.
  • ASAS (aluminium sector, Turkey) has finished the tests after the installation of all retrofitting modifications, reducing the amount of energy consumed. Now, they are testing the DSS to find a higher reduction in energy consumption and emission of GHG.
  • At FERRIERE NORD (steel sector, Italy) and TENARIS SILCOTUB (steel sector, Romania), the results obtained show that RETROFEED solutions reduce the amount of Anthracite that they use in their processes. Moreover, the DSS helps them to make decisions about the best working configuration. 
  • Finally, in FERTIBERIA all the equipment is ready for the installation of the reactor in the real plant during the next production stop. Meanwhile, the digital twin and the DSS will be validated in the following months.

For finishing the first day, a visit to the whole plant of TORRECID was done, and the partners saw the exhibition room where the new products and services of the TORRECID group are shown and then, the plant with the furnace where the solutions of the RETROFEED project have been implemented.

On the second day, and with the participation of the Project Officer of RETROFEED, the guidelines for the last months related to business plans and communication activities were presented, and the e-learning platform that will be available for students, researchers and the general public was presented. Finally, a workshop about replicability and exploitation was carried out in order to obtain feedback of the RETROFEED solutions from all partners beyond the end of the project. 

The next GA will be held in Istanbul (Turkey) by ASAS…stay tuned!

Researchers visit Fertiberia plant

Researchers from the University of Seville visit Fertiberia plant at Palos de la Frontera (Huelva).

Within the framework of RETROFEED, in April, Fertiberia – one of the demo sites in the agrochemical sector involved in the project, received a group of researchers from the University of Seville at their plant in Palos de la Frontera.

The students’ group took the opportunity to learn about the technologies being developed in the facilities, as well as the project and its goals and developed tools.

Ramón García, Director of the plant, received the researchers together with Francisca Galindo, Technical Director of Grupo Fertiberia. A very fruitful visit in which Fertiberia was able to share the progress of the project focused on the use of by-products to obtain circular economy-based raw materials, as well as the reduction of industrial consumption thanks to the use of alternative sources, reintegrating into the chain of value the residual heat of the reactions.

Grupo Fertiberia participates directly in the RETROFEED project with a demonstration at the NPK plant in Huelva, where an innovative in-line reactor will be installed, in which phosphoric acid is replaced by sulfuric acid, an industrial by-product from the neighbourhood, in the circular economy to valorise incineration ashes from food industries and water treatment products, among others.