Foto: Forschungsprogramm Energieeffizienz, Materialien und Ressourcen ©Copyright: BengsResource Technologies

Energy > Energy Efficiency, Materials and Resources - All Topics

Foto: Expedition nach Maamorilik, Westgrönland mit HIF-Beteiligung - Ziel ist es, hoch aufgelöste geologische Karten der Erdoberfläche zu erstellen, um das Rohstoffpotenzial des Landes besser einzuschätzen. ©Copyright: HZDRFrom the copper cables to the lithium batteries, metal and mineral raw materials play a vital role in our everyday lives. The demand for these resources in terms of quantity and diversity is increasing, especially for use in renewable energy, electromobility, communications and other advanced technologies. At the same time, however, ensuring their continued availability poses a growing number of global challenges, as mineable deposits tend to be located in inhospitable areas or at great depths, while the ores themselves have low metal content and are often fine-grained and complex in structure. How can supplies be secured in the long term? An important contribution to the more efficient use of resources can be made by recycling (known as the Circular Economy) and by minimizing loss from the system. The Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) is dedicated to providing the innovative technologies that are urgently needed.

HIF was set up in 2011 by the German government as part of its national strategy for raw materials. The research team has been drawn from multiple scientific disciplines and has been gathered together under a single roof to look into such issues as the exploration, processing, metallurgy and recycling of mineral resources. By precisely analyzing the properties of raw materials and the valuable substances they contain as well as by means of computer simulation, it is possible to quantify the material and energy efficiency of processes along the value chain and to identify new solutions for the socially responsible and commercially viable use of raw materials. The focus at HIF is on complex resources from primary and secondary sources as well as on high technology metals such as indium, gallium, germanium and rare earth elements.

HIF is a constituent part of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and works in close collaboration with TU Bergakademie Freiberg. It is a core member of the European EIT RawMaterials network, having played a decisive role in its establishment.


  • Developing new technologies for safeguarding the long-term supply of mineral and metalliferous raw materials from domestic and global sources
  • Contribution to global environmental protection through material and energy efficieny
  • Establishing long-term economic relations with resource-based countries
  • Training a new generation of highly qualified scientists and engineers for German industry and for academia

Press Releases

Involved HZDR institutes




  • Frenzel, M.; Kullik, J.; Reuter, M. A. et al.
    Raw material "criticality" - Sense or non-sense
    Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 50(2017)12, 123002 (10.1088/1361-6463/aa5b64)
  • Lederer, F. L.; Curtis, S. B.; Bachmann, S. et al.
    Identification of lanthanum-specific peptides for future recycling of rare earth elements from compact fluorescent lamps
    Biotechnology and Bioengineering 114(2017)5, 1016-1024 (10.1002/bit.26240)
  • Leißner, T.; Bachmann, K.; Gutzmer, J. et al.
    MLA-based partition curves for magnetic separation
    Minerals Engineering 94(2016), 94-103 (10.1016/j.mineng.2016.05.015)
  • Rasti, B.; Ghamis, I. P.; Gloaguen, R.
    Hyperspectral and LiDAR Fusion Using Extinction Profiles and Total Variation Component Analysis
    IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 99(2017), 3997-4007 (10.1109/TGRS.2017.2686450)
  • Rudolph, M.; Hartmann, R.
    Specific Surface Free Energy Component Distributions and Flotabilities of Mineral Microparticles in Flotation – An Inverse Gas Chromatography Study
    Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 513(2017), 380-388 (10.1016/j.colsurfa.2016.10.069)
  • Shuva, M. A. H.; Rhamdhani, M. A.; Brooks, G. A. et al.
    Thermodynamics of Palladium (Pd) and Tantalum (Ta) Relevant to Secondary Copper Smelting
    Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B 1(2017), 317-327 (10.1007/s11663-016-0839-y)
  • Frenzel, M.; Mikolajczak, C.; Reuther, M. A. et al.
    Quantifying the relative availability of high-tech by-product metals – The cases of gallium, germanium and indium
    Resources Policy 52(2017), 327-335 (10.1016/j.resourpol.2017.04.008)