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Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology

The Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) pursues the objective of developing innovative technologies for the economy so that mineral and metalliferous raw materials can be made available and used more efficiently and recycled in an environmentally friendly manner.

HIF was set up in 2011 by the German government as part of its national strategy for raw materials. It is a constituent part of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and works in close collaboration with TU Bergakademie Freiberg. HIF is a core member of the European EIT RawMaterials network, having played a decisive role in its establishment.

The institute belongs to the Energy Efficiency, Materials, and Resources Program of the Helmholtz Association and to the Resource Technology Topic, respectively.


Latest News

Foto: Grain mount ©Copyright: HZDR/ Frank Schinski

Masters of the rocks: Professional networking for mineral sample pre­parators in Freiberg

Analysis technology has become so sophisticated that it now affords astonishingly accurate insights into the structure of rocks and minerals. But it is not only rock in its natural state that comes in for analysis but also specially prepared samples. There is a dedicated laboratory for this at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF), part of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf. From 13th to 14th March, mineral sample pre­parators from uni­versities and research institutes in Germany, Austria and Switzerland will be gathering together here.
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Foto: Grain mount ©Copyright: HZDR/ Frank Schinski

Erzlabor: A spin-off for raw materials characterization

HZDR Press Release (Feb. 07, 2018): Profound understanding of raw materials’ characteristics is essential for process and resource efficiency in the mining as well as in the recycling sector. Materials characterization has become a powerful tool for the acquisition of quantitative data and is already applied along the entire raw materials value chain, from the exploration of new deposits to their rehabilitation. The newly established company ERZLABOR Advanced Solutions GmbH provides analytical services for the primary as well as secondary resource industry. The team of scientists and engineers from the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) – part of HZDR – make state-of-the-art infrastructure and analytical competence available for the industry.
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The Circular Economy: Efficient Use of Valuable Resources

From 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 HIF 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.


Mission & Aims

  • 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 efficiency
  • 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

How to Find Us

Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology
Chemnitzer Str. 40, 09599 Freiberg, Germany

Road Map to the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology