Combining artificial intelligence and environmental sustainability for a new steel production. This is the objective of the new European project by the Sant'Anna School, ALCHIMIA (acronym for Data and decentralised Artificial intelligence for a competitive and green European metallurgy industry), financed by the European Commission with an investment of around EUR 3 million.
ALCHIMIA aims to build an intelligent platform that supports large metallurgical industries in creating high quality, competitive, efficient and environmentally friendly production processes.
Artificial intelligence and sustainability: the interdisciplinary nature of Sant'Anna School
The project sees the involvement of an interdisciplinary working group of the Sant'Anna School, which combines the competences concerning the development of process models and Artificial Intelligence tools (TeCIP Institute) with environmental sustainability management, developed by the Institute of Management.
"ALCHIMIA will create an innovative platform based on Artificial Intelligence techniques to dynamically automate and optimise the process of producing steel from scrap. The aim is to reduce energy consumption, emissions and waste production” explains Valentina Colla, assistant professor at TeCIP Institute. "Our researchers will be engaged in interdisciplinary research, where they will combine metallurgical and process modelling skills, machine learning tools and approaches for integrated environmental impact assessment.".
"Environmental impact assessment and energy consumption are at the heart of the European Commission's Energy and Circular Economy strategies. ALCHIMIA will be a pilot experience” adds Fabio Iraldo, full professor at the Institute of Management.
"The application of Life Cycle Assessment in ALCHIMIA will allow us to quantify the environmental performance of the steel produced and then optimise it through the identification of the most efficient and effective solutions for the environment" says Francesco Testa, full professor at the Institute of Management.
Kick-off meeting: the first steps of ALCHIMIA and the research partners
On 26 and 27 September, the Kick-Off meeting of the project took place in Barcelona. The researchers from Scuola Sant'Anna, together with project partners from 8 countries (Spain, Germany, France, Poland, Greece, Switzerland and the United Kingdom), planned the next research activities and visited one of the project's pilot plants, the CELSA - Barcelona production plant, ALCHIMIA's partner, which has the capacity to produce 250 million tonnes of steel each year.
ALCHIMIA's partners are: Atos IT Solutions and Services Iberia S.L. (Spain), VDEH-BetriebsForschungsInstitut GMBH (Germany), Cardiff University (UK), CELSA Barcelona (Spain), CELSA France (France), Celsa Huta Ostrowiec Sp zoo (Poland), EXUS AI Labs (Greece), MANDAT International aka Fondation pur la Cooperation Internationale (Switzerland), Fonderia di Torbole (Italy).