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.
We are a key enabler for a sustainable circular economy of minerals and metals.
We achieve this by:
- creating and providing fundamental understanding;
- developing innovative technologies and systems;
- quantifying possibilities and limits of the circular economy;
- developing new solutions in collaboration with society, stakeholders and decision makers.
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.