EU project breaks new ground in the extraction of value elements

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In the EU project ION4RAW, the TU Bergakademie Freiberg is developing new methods for recovering valuable metals together with twelve partners from Europe and Peru. Ionometallurgy is used here - the use of ionic liquids for metallurgical processes.

The ION4RAW project is developing an energy-efficient and material-conserving technology to enable the co-production of valuable by-metals in the processing of copper, silver and gold ores. The focus is on economically strategically important elements such as cobalt, germanium, indium, antimony, platinum and bismuth. The innovation potential results from the use of special solvents, the Deep Eutectic Solvents. These are ionic liquids, i. e. salts that are liquid at room temperature and have outstanding chemical properties for the extraction of metals, but are also readily biodegradable.

The project is funded under the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020 and is scheduled to run for four years. At the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, the Institute for Inorganic Chemistry (Prof. Dr. Gero Frisch) investigates chemical processes during extraction and separation of the value elements. The Institute for Technical Chemistry (Prof. Dr. Martin Bertau) works on the scale-up and recycling of ionic liquids. The consortium also includes twelve mining companies, SMEs, research institutes and innovation providers. The project partners met on 13 and 14 June in Seville (Spain) for the official kick-off meeting.

The multifaceted competencies of the partners in the network are aimed at particularly industry-oriented development. The process enables mining and raw material processing companies to extract previously unused by-products from their own facilities. This supports the "EIT Raw Materials Strategic Implementation Plan"; which is intended to make use of previously uneconomical European raw material deposits.

Further information: www.ion4raw.eu

Contact Person: Prof. Gero Frisch, Tel  +49 (0)3731 / 39-3573