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1st Dr Erich Krüger Research College

The Freiberg High Pressure Research Centre (FHP)

The Freiberg High Pressure Research Centre is a conglomerate of scientists from the TU Bergakademie Freiberg who are involved in research into materials at high pressures and temperatures. The research covers the areas of material development, synthesis and calculation of materials and their properties under extreme conditions. Similarly, the stressing of materials under extreme pressures and temperatures is investigated on several levels. The focus here is on understanding the fundamental behaviour of materials and physicochemical processes under the given boundary conditions and making them usable.

The FHP was established by the Dr.-Erich-Krüger-Stiftung as part of the 1st Dr Erich Krüger Research College in 2007. In 2012, the project was extended (transfer project) until it was finally completed in 2015. The scientists involved have remained (partially) loyal to high-pressure research within the Freiberg High Pressure Research Centre in the form of follow-up projects.

2nd Dr Erich Krüger Research College

Bio-Hydrometallurgical Centre for Strategic Elements (BHMZ)

Process chain for metal extraction from ores, tailings and recycled material


A secure and sufficient supply of metals is of crucial importance for industrialised countries. This dependency applies in particular to "strategic elements", which are required for the production of electrical or electronic components as well as for fibre optics, laser technology and many other high-tech products. While the demand for strategic elements has increased and will continue to increase in the future due to strong economic growth in several regions of the world, the realisation of a sufficient supply is made more difficult by the fact that the ores have to be extracted from ever greater depths. In addition, ores with low metal concentrations and complex structures must also be used for metal extraction. Furthermore, mining activities must be as sustainable as possible and high ecological standards must be met. This includes minimising the pollution of water, soil and air, but also keeping the energy consumption of mining as low as possible.

In order to meet these global and national challenges, hydrometallurgical processes and, in particular, biohydrometallurgical processes will have to play an important role. For this reason, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, with funding from the Dr.-Erich-Krüger-Stiftung, founded the Freiberger Biohydrometallurgical Centre ("BHMZ") as a Krüger Research College to promote interdisciplinary research along the entire (bio)hydrometallurgical process chain. The process chain covered includes processes to bring the respective metals from the respective source material (deposit, tailings, recycling material) into aqueous solution, as well as various approaches to extract pure metals or materials containing metals from the solution.

The doctoral students of the Krüger Research College focus their investigations on the two elements indium and germanium, which are of strategic importance and were discovered in the 19th century by scientists from the TU Bergakademie. However, the experience gained through the Krüger Research College using the example of germanium and indium and the available equipment will also be used in additional projects for the extraction of other metals.

In order to promote interdisciplinary research, special courses are offered for members of the BHMZ, in which knowledge can be acquired in the sub-areas along the process chain that do not correspond to their own specialism. In addition, doctoral students have the opportunity to take part in courses on soft skills, business administration, etc., which are offered by the Graduate and Research Academy (GraFA).

The BHMZ has set itself the goal of intensifying research into the environmentally friendly extraction of strategic metals and thereby promoting sustainable economic development.