Four lessons learned from PROMETIA Tech Tour 2022 – Northern Sweden
During 4 days, young students and researchers from 9 different institutions gathered in Sweden to visit mines, smelters, R&D centers and industrial plants. Here is the report of Carlos Quintero (SOLVOMET/SIM² KU Leuven).
Global perspectives on reprocessing of mine tailings (High-level expert panel)
On March 10, 2022, the joint NEMO/CROCODILE/TARANTULA expert panel discussed the “Global perspectives on the reprocessing of mine tailings”. The objective was to find common ground and to enable the elaboration of specific EU policy recommendations.
Boosting the repair & recycling options for EoL electrical consumer products
The Lifecycle Engineering research group (SIM²) has explored a new procedure to identify EoL electrical products by evaluating an image of the device’s product label. The work was published in Journal of Industrial Ecology.
Recovery of copper, zinc and lead from photovoltaic panel residues
Within the EU ETN SULTAN and PEACOC projects, SOLVOMET/SIM2 KU Leuven and VITO researchers developed a process to recover copper, zinc and lead from chloride leachates of PV residues. The work was published in RSC Advances.
Recovery of REEs from spent fluorescent lamps using methanesulfonic acid (MSA)
SIM²/SOLVOMET developed a new solvometallurgical process, using methanesulfonic acid (MSA), for the selective recovery of REEs from spent fluorescent lamps. The work was published in Industrial Engineering and Chemistry Research.
Rare-earth recycling needs market intervention (Nature Reviews Materials)
SIM2 KU Leuven’s Koen Binnemans and Peter Tom Jones published a Comment article “Rare-earth recycling needs market intervention” in Nature Reviews Materials (IF = 75). The paper was co-authored by magnet expert Paul McGuiness.
How to recover and purify platinum-group metals from spent autocatalysts?
SOLVOMET/SIM2 KU Leuven researchers developed three methods to recover & purify Pd, Pt and Rh from spent autocatalysts. This work, which was performed in EU PLATIRUS, is featured in journal Johnson Matthey Technology Review.
Slovenian children know e-waste well
As an external collaborator in the AWARE project we also conducted eco-workshops for children in Slovenia in order to present them e-waste and its proper handling. In the company ZEOS, d.o.o. from Slovenia, we have been dealing with the proper management...
E-waste recycling (school kid) heroes in the making!
The EIT RawMaterials AWARE team went to the Zevensprong (Leuven, BE) to talk to 40 primary school kids about the importance of e-waste recycling. Through this experience, the kids were motivated to become real recycling heroes.
Is data the new gold? A case study for repair data
In collaboration with TU Berlin, the SIM² KU Leuven Lifecycle Engineering (LCE) research group published a study that provides key knowledge on potential opportunities and limits of repair data for specific repair applications.
The curse of white oil?
“The curse of ‘white oil’: electric vehicles’ dirty secret” is the attention-grabbing headline of an in-depth article on lithium mining published in The Guardian (Dec’ 8, 2020). Peter Tom Jones (SIM², KU Leuven) reacts in this piece.
Using deep learning & X-Ray images to improve battery removal and recycling
Researchers from the Life Cycle Engineering (LCE) research group (SIM² KU Leuven) used X-Ray images of WEEE and applied a deep neural network to automatically detect the location of batteries to improve removal and recycling.
Evaluating product repairability: a case study for washing machines
The lifecycle engineering (LCE) research group (SIM² KU Leuven) and the European Commission DG Joint Research Centre (Seville) have recently developed two methods to assess the repairability of energy and resource related products.
NEW-MINE Policy Brief: Climate change, flooding and landfills
To mine or not to mine our 500,000+ landfills in Europe, that was the question addressed in MSCA-ETN NEW-MINE. In this final Policy Brief, the project coordinator addresses the impact of climate change on the safety of landfills.
Webinar series ‘Towards a Responsible Supply Chain for Electronics’
In three webinars, expert panelists will explore ways “Towards a responsible Supply Chain for Electronics – From Mining to Manufacturing” and analyse the different links in the ICT supply chain, from e.g. copper production, to artisanal and small-scale mining, and worker rights in manufacturing.
EIT Raw Materials Funding for Master in Sustainable Materials (SUMA)
The EIT-Labelled Master Programme in Sustainable Materials (SUMA) has received a funding from EIT Raw Materials to continue educating high-level EU & international students in the field of materials science and engineering.
EIT funding secured for new Circular Economy Summer Schools
SIM² KU Leuven and MRC are delighted to announce that they secured funding for a new EIT RawMaterials education project (DocSumECE), comprising several PhD summer schools on Entrepreneurship in the Circular Economy in 2021-22.
Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy obtains Impact Factor of 2,109
In March 2015 the Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy (JSM) launched its first issue. Now, just more than 5 years, JSM obtained its first Impact Factor. With a score of 2,109, the journal ranks second among TMS journals for 2019.
Solvometallurgical cobalt recovery from Li-ion battery cathode materials
SOLVOMET/SIM² KU Leuven researchers developed a novel solvometallurgical approach to recover cobalt from Li-ion battery cathode materials. This work was supported by EU H2020 CROCODILE and published in the journal Green Chemistry.
AWARE Workshop – “Welcome to Weeeland and Relight”
On 5th November 2019, within the EIT PROJECT AWARE and specifically WP2 and WP3, the partner Relight organized a Workshop for the University of Trento students and high-school teachers. The session was organized in collaboration with the other project partners...
AWARE Project at webinar “ECONOMIA CIRCOLARE E RIFIUTO”
On 15th May 2020, Aware project was presented by Relight in the on-line academic seminar “ECONOMIA CIRCOLARE E RICICLO”. The webinar was organized by University of Milano-Bicocca (UNIMIB) within the Italian nation project PLS “Piano Lauree Scientifiche Scenza dei...
KU Leuven Institute SIM²: a new take on circular economy
In the first official SIM² interview on the KU Leuven website, SIM² Director Peter Tom Jones explains the new KU Leuven Institute for Metals & Minerals’ view on the Circular Economy, against the background of the Corona pandemic.
Solvometallurgical process for extraction of copper from sulphidic ore minerals
SIM² KU Leuven researchers have developed a new solvometallurgical extraction process to produce copper from sulphidic copper ore minerals (e.g. chalcopyrite), allowing to reduce the eco-footprint of primary copper production.
Does cobalt and copper mining lead to birth defects in DR Congo?
SIM² KU Leuven member Prof. Erik Smolders contributed to a milestone paper in The Lancet Planetary Health. A team of Belgian and Congolese researchers studied the effects of mining-related pollution on newborns in Katanga, DRC.
A new solvent extraction system for lithium purification from brines
SIM² KU Leuven – SOLVOMET researchers have developed a novel solvent extraction system to remove magnesium from lithium-rich solutions, allowing a major reduction of the eco-footprint of lithium recovery from brines.
Mining precious metals at home during the global COVID-19 lockdown?
A BBC Future article featuring Ana Maria Martinez (SINTEF) illustrates that old electronics are domestic mines of precious metals. Martina Orefice (SIM² KU Leuven) provides further background referring to several EU projects.
New video: The Missing Link of the Circular Economy 2.0
“The Missing Link of the Circular Economy 2.0” video shows why the waste of the past cannot be consigned to oblivion. A comprehensive Circular Economy vision should, therefore, find answers for Europe’s 500,000+ landfills.
The green transition challenged by the metal supply chain
How feasible is the transition to a climate-neutral economy (European Green Deal) in terms of the availability of the required (critical) metals? During the March 12 Seminar in Brussels an expert panel tried to provide answers.
A 2020 Green Chemistry Hot Article: Recycling NdFeB magnets in a greener way
The prominent journal Green Chemistry has selected a JSI paper as a “2020 Green Chemistry Hot Article”. The paper by Xuan Xu et al, is the result of pioneering work performed in the EU Horizon 2020 MSCA-ETN DEMETER project.