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SIM² Welcome
SIM² KU Leuven (Sustainable Inorganic Materials Management) is an interdisciplinary research cluster at KU Leuven, which addresses the European and global demand for more cleantech innovation and research on resource recovery and recycling.
Apple to develop iPhone with recycled content
Apple just announced that it plans to stop relying on mined rare earth minerals and metals to make their products, and instead use only recycled sources. Read the full story in the article by Zoë Schlanger.
Ten good reasons to use solvometallurgy
The position paper “Solvometallurgy: an emerging branch of extractive metallurgy” is now available as an open access paper from the Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy website. The paper presents ten reasons to use solvometallurgy.
Transforming fayalite slags in inorganic polymers
SIM² KU Leuven researchers from the SREMAT Group have published a milestone paper in Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering on the transformation process of fayalitic slag into Fe-Si rich inorganic polymers.
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REDMUD
Applications are invited for the one PhD position funded by the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie “REDMUD – European Training Network for Zero-Waste Valorisation of Bauxite Residue” within the H2020 Programme of the European Commission

SIM² KU Leuven goes for zero-waste urban and landfill mining

SIM² KU Leuven targets zero-waste valorisation of urban and industrial waste. Key focus areas are (1) the direct (preconsumer) recycling of metal scrap and swarf generated during the production of metal based (intermediate) products and (2) the (postconsumer) recycling and/or urban mining of, respectively, flows and stocks of complex, multi-material, metal-containing products (as for instance a hybrid electric vehicle). (3) landfill mining of historic urban solid waste, (4) metal recovery from flows of industrial process residues from primary and secondary metal production and, finally, (5) metal recovery from stocks of landfilled mining waste and industrial process residues. The zero-waste vision implies that for (4) and (5) the residual mineral matrixes are valorised in building or engineered materials.

Research Lines:

BASE METAL PRODUCTION AND RECOVERY

Pyro-, hydro-, solvo- and electrometallurgical unit processes are developed and integrated into zero- waste flow sheets for the production and recovery of base metals such as iron and steel, copper, zinc, nickel and lead.  Both

CRITICAL METAL RECOVERY

Innovative, efficient - cleantech - processes are developed for the recovery of rare-earth elements (REEs) and other critical metals (PGMs, Ge, In, Sb, Ga, Co, Ta) from end-of-life consumer goods, industrial process residues and low-grade

UPCYCLING OF LOW-GRADE MATERIALS

Upcycling of Low-grade Materials Raw materials and residues are upcycled through innovative processes leading to new applications. The developed processes and materials demonstrate a sustainability advantage over existing ones and are industrially realistic.

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT AND POLICY RESEARCH

Sustainability Assessment and Policy Research The Research Line investigates the economic and environmental feasibility of new flow sheets for the recovery of metals and/or minerals from end-of-life consumer goods, industrial process residues and low-grade ores.