On the 16th of March 2016 the European Research Council (ERC) formally approved the Advanced Grant proposal of Prof. Koen Binnemans (SIM² KU Leuven & RARE³ KU Leuven). SOLCRIMET’s aim is to successfully apply a ground-breaking metallurgical approach – solvometallurgy – to the extraction of specific critical metals, i.e. rare earths, tantalum, niobium, cobalt, indium, gallium, germanium and antimony, which are key enablers of the required transition to a low-carbon, circular economy. The approach involves the discovery of non-aqueous solvent pairs that are immiscible and allow the extraction of metal complexes at moderate temperatures, leading to high-purity recycled metals. The possibility to recycle critical metals with energy-efficient, low-cost processes will have a significant impact on the global recycling rates of these metals.
KU Leuven Institute for Sustainable Metals and Minerals – Kasteelpark Arenberg 44 – Leuven 3001, Belgium
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SIM² research lines & expertise
SIM² KU Leuven is the new KU Leuven Institute on Sustainable Metals and Minerals, one of the 4 flagship KU Leuven Institutes. SIM² mission is to develop, organise and implement problem-driven, science-deep research and future-oriented education, contributing to the environmentally friendly production and recycling of metals, minerals and engineered materials, supporting the transition to a climate-friendly, circular-economy.