The demand for raw materials is constantly growing!

We do research on intelligent and innovative solutions to meet it!

Graphic representation of the growing demand for raw materials; a detailed description in text form follows below the chart


► Text description of the above graph

In the above diagram by Krausmann et al., the respective global developments of the resource use (in billions of metric tons or gigatons per year) on the left, and the relative growth in population and GDP on the right are juxtaposed for the period from 1900 to 2009.


The resources are divided into the following categories (growth trends in the chart are shown as layers arranged one above the other, viewed from bottom to top):

  • Biomass (increase from approx. 5 Gt in 1900 to approx. 20 Gt in 2009)
  • Fossil energy carriers coal (incl. peat), petroleum, and natural gas (increase from approx. 1 Gt in 1900 to approx. 14 Gt in 2009)
  • Ores (incl. tailings) and industrial minerals (increase from approx. 0.2 Gt in 1900 to approx. 6 Gt in 2009)
  • Construction minerals (increase from approx. 0.7 Gt in 1900 to approx. 28 Gt in 2009)

The relative growth rates of the population and GDP are depicted in the graph by means of two superimposed lines. These illustrate that the worldwide population quadrupled between 1900 and 2009, while the corresponding GDP rose about 26-fold over the same period.


Increases in both the use of resources as well as population and GDP are exponential in nature.


The need for raw materials is increasing, from both primary and secondary sources, in Germany and worldwide. Our research efforts at the IAM focus on intelligent machines that help satisfy those needs in the future – sustainably as well as energy-efficiently!

“In this field of research, we are supported by young people who have decided to study mechanical engineering at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, and thus will secure themselves stable, yet also very exciting career prospects. Contact us anytime!”

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Lieberwirth
Director of the Institute


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