Focus on DISIRE and ePellets projects


In the latest issue of Process Nordic Magazine (4/2015) results from the ePellet research group and the DISIRE project are communicated.

Both projects ePellet and DISIRE are coordinated by Luleå University of Technology. Results from the projects are now being communicated in Process Nordic Magazine (4/2015), Swedish magazine with a focus on process industries.

Read more about the projects (in Swedish)
Read more, second article (in Swedish)


The aim of the DISIRE project is to develop technologies to monitor raw material flows using embedded electronic sensors making it possible to create measurement values from otherwise inaccessible places.
Tagging raw material with sensors can be an effective tool to improve process control and logistics as well as to optimize plant systems. The aim is also to use technology to increase energy efficiency of the processes resulting in higher product quality.
The DISIRE project will also, among others, follow the large flows of iron ore pellets from LKAB that have been shipped on to e.g. steel works. The sensors in this case will be the same shape as a pellet and the tag can be followed via RFID technology through the entire value chain rather than an individual process.

Partners: Luleå University of Technology, LTU, as well as universities, research organizations and industrial companies from Germany, Poland, Spain, Italy and Israel.
Budget: EUR 6 million, of which EUR 1.6 million has been allocated to LTU.
Project Managers: Pär-Erik Martinsson and George Nikolakopoulos, LTU.


Robust signaling solutions is a key to the development of RFID based in-situ process monitoring and associated process control for application in harsh environments.

The ePellet research project will develop signaling solutions to enable the construction of pellets sized RFID tags (ePellets) for use within the mining industry. The solutions will be demonstrated in prototype ePellets with size and weight comparable to ordinary iron ore pellets. The results will, with subsequent development, facilitate tracking of and in-situ measurements in the flow of pellets, as well as form a technical base for measurements in other areas of the process.

Previous work to evaluate the suitability of RFID equipped pellets as a means of production flow tracking in the LKAB production lines has been performed by Professor Bjarne Bergqvist at LTU (Kvarnström 2011). One conclusion was that the signaling between the RFID tag and the reader antenna was highly unreliable for small (pellets sized) tags; significantly larger tags were required for reliable detection. This created challenges in ensuring that a tag of disparate size would properly follow the product flow.

The ePellet project will set a technical base for practical use of small RFID tags in harsh environments. Foreseen project results include:

Characterization of the electromagnetic environment in which the tags are to operate.
System level solutions for increased reliability in signaling between tag and reader.
Integrated circuit solutions that support the system solutions for small tags.
Prototype ePellets tested in the LKAB process flow.