Recovery of Inorganic Resources

Research Topics

  • Urban mining / exploitation of new raw materials
  • Thermal and electrochemical processes for reclaiming valuable materials
  • Electrochemically switchable ion exchangers for reclaiming noble metals
  • Combination of "microbial leaching" with other processes
  • Processes for reclaiming and concentrating trace substances in waste streams

Numerous raw materials with a wide range of applications for industrial processes have
limited availability. Mass-production of consumer items leads to rapid consumption of natural resources. At the same time the modern fast paced society builds an ever-increasing "anthropogenic" stockpile of waste and recyclable materials.

Due to the scarcity of resources these waste and recyclable materials become a valuable source of raw materials. For their development intelligent processes are required,
e.g. microbial leaching in combination with electrochemical segregation or high temperature processes.

In the research cluster "recovery of inorganic resources" the competences for this field of research are pooled in an interdisciplinary manner.

The cluster benefits from the interrelation between electrochemistry, technical chemistry, materials science and biotechnology. It aims to develop innovative strategies for prospective industrial cycles and urban mining.

Furthermore, the cluster deals with the possibility of substituting inorganic materials, whose extraction and recovery is expensive and harmful to the environment.

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