23 April 2024 | News

The ICARUS innovation project, coordinated by ACCIONA, is launched

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Upcycling secondary resources: The aim of this project is to transform secondary raw materials into resources in order to promote circularity in the processing industries.

The ICARUS innovation project, coordinated by ACCIONA’s Construction business, with the participation of the company’s Water businesss, was launched in January.

The project, part of the European Union’s Horizon Europe program, is based on the recycling of waste materials from various processing industries.

The aim is to reintroduce these waste materials into the construction sector, thereby promoting the circular economy and sustainable development. In addition, the project represents a significant step forward in the research and demonstration of technologies to improve secondary raw materials, ensuring a quality similar to that of the original raw materials.

To validate these new technologies, three cases of application of these wastes in construction will be carried out: recycling of mineral waste from the extraction and refining of lithium; recycling of iron and steel slag through carbon capture and storage; recovery of cellulosic waste from wastewater treatment plants and superabsorbent waste, in which ACCIONA’s Water business will actively participate.

The ICARUS project will provide technological support to energy-intensive industries, which are also large consumers of raw materials and producers of waste, as they are key to driving the transition to greener and more digital processes. The project aims at standardization to promote a resilient, green and digital single market, where sustainability in resource management is key.


The circular economy in the construction sector is still at an early stage, with an estimated circularity rate of 12.4% in the European Union in 2021.

By addressing the issue of resource availability for the infrastructure sector, responsible for 50% of total material extraction and more than 35% of waste streams in the European Union, the ICARUS project positions itself as a decisive step towards sustainable transformation, tackling these current challenges with determination and leading the way towards greener future.

ACCIONA’s participation in this project reaffirms its commitment to sustainable innovation, leading the implementation of solutions for an ever-evolving circular economy.