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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/V011855/1
Title UKRI Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centre for Technology Metals (TechMet)
Status Started
Energy Categories Not Energy Related 80%;
Energy Efficiency(Industry) 20%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Metallurgy and Materials) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (General Engineering and Mineral & Mining Engineering) 20%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 30%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 60%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Environmental dimensions) 20%;
Other (Energy technology information dissemination) 20%;
Principal Investigator Professor F Wall
No email address given
Camborne School of Mines
University of Exeter
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 January 2021
End Date 31 December 2024
Duration 48 months
Total Grant Value £4,436,180
Industrial Sectors Electronics; Environment; Manufacturing; Transport Systems and Vehicles
Region South West
Programme SPF NICER Programme
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor F Wall , Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter (99.980%)
  Other Investigator Dr X Yan , Engineering Computer Science and Maths, University of Exeter (0.001%)
Dr PA Anderson , School of Chemistry, University of Birmingham (0.001%)
Dr A Walton , Metallurgy and Materials, University of Birmingham (0.001%)
Professor E Kendrick , Metallurgy and Materials, University of Birmingham (0.001%)
Dr AP Dove , Chemistry, University of Warwick (0.001%)
Dr R Stolkin , School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Birmingham (0.001%)
Professor K Hudson-Edwards , Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter (0.001%)
Mr P Lusty , Minerals, British Geological Survey (BGS) - NERC (0.001%)
Dr E Petavratzi , Minerals, British Geological Survey (BGS) - NERC (0.001%)
Mr R Shaw , Minerals, British Geological Survey (BGS) - NERC (0.001%)
Dr S Gregory , Minerals, British Geological Survey (BGS) - NERC (0.001%)
Dr C Kresse , Minerals, British Geological Survey (BGS) - NERC (0.001%)
Mr C J Watson , Geo-Information & Systems, British Geological Survey (BGS) - NERC (0.001%)
Professor F Boons , Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester (0.001%)
Dr DJ Smith , Sch of Geog, Geol & the Environmen, University of Leicester (0.001%)
Professor G Jenkin , Sch of Geog, Geol & the Environmen, University of Leicester (0.001%)
Professor J Ignatius , Business and Management, University of Exeter (0.001%)
Professor R Lee , Law School, University of Birmingham (0.001%)
Professor A Abbott , Chemistry, University of Leicester (0.001%)
Professor KS Ryder , Chemistry, University of Leicester (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Oakdene Hollins Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Celsa Steel UK (0.000%)
Project Contact , Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) (0.000%)
Project Contact , Less Common Metals Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Environmental Agency (0.000%)
Project Contact , The Natural History Museum (0.000%)
Project Contact , High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute Ltd (HSSMI Ltd) (0.000%)
Project Contact , PV3 Technologies Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Department for International Trade (0.000%)
Project Contact , Advanced Propulsion Centre UK Ltd (APC) (0.000%)
Project Contact , Cornwall Council (0.000%)
Project Contact , The Coal Authority (0.000%)
Project Contact , Apto Solutions (0.000%)
Project Contact , Beta Technology Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Bullitt (0.000%)
Project Contact , CB2tech Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , Circunomics (0.000%)
Project Contact , Cobalt Institute (0.000%)
Project Contact , Colorado School of Mines (0.000%)
Project Contact , Cornish Lithium Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Cornish Mining World Heritage (0.000%)
Project Contact , Cornwall Resources Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , Critical Materials Institute (0.000%)
Project Contact , Critical Minerals Association (0.000%)
Project Contact , EYDE Cluster (0.000%)
Project Contact , Geothermal Engineering Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , HyProMag (0.000%)
Project Contact , Kite Air Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Levin Sources (0.000%)
Project Contact , Life Saver Power (0.000%)
Project Contact , Mandalay Resources (0.000%)
Project Contact , Marine Minerals Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Minviro (0.000%)
Project Contact , Mkango Resources Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , Pact (0.000%)
Project Contact , Ravel (0.000%)
Project Contact , Roskill Information Services Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Satarla (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract The Circular Economy (CE) is a revolutionary alternative to a traditional linear, make-use-dispose economy. It is based on the central principle of maintaining continuous flows of resources at their highest value for the longest period and then recovering, cascading and regenerating products and materials at the end of each life cycle. Metals are ideal flows for a circular economy. With careful stewardship and good technology, metals mined from the Earth can be reused indefinitely.Technology metals (techmetals) are an essential, distinct, subset of specialist metals. Although they are used in much smaller quantities than industrial metals such as iron and aluminium, each techmetal has its own specific and special properties that give it essential functions in devices ranging from smart phones, batteries, wind turbines and solar cells to electric vehicles. Techmetals are thus essential enablers of a future circular, low carbon economy and demand for many is increasing rapidly. E.g., to meet the UK's 2050 ambition for offshore wind turbines will require 10 years' worth of global neodymium production. To replace all UK-based vehicles with electric vehicles would require 200% of cobalt and 75% of lithium currently produced globally each year. The UK is 100% reliant on imports of techmetals including from countries that represent geopolitical risks. Some techmetals are therefore called Critical Raw Materials (high economic importance and high risk of supply disruption). Only four of the 27 raw materials considered critical by the EU have an end-of-life recycling input rate higher than 10%.Our UKRI TechMet CE Centre brings together for the first time world-leading researchers to maximise opportunities around the provision of techmetals from primary and secondary sources, and lead materials stewardship, creating a National Techmetals Circular Economy Roadmap to accelerate us towards a circular economy. This will help the UK meet its Industrial Strategy Clean Growth agenda and its ambitious UK 2050 climate change targets with secure and environmentally-acceptable supplies of techmetals.There are many challenges to a future techmetal circular economy. With growing demand, new mining is needed and we must keep the environmental footprint of this primary production as low as possible. Materials stewardship of techmetals is difficult because their fate is often difficult to track. Most arrive in the UK 'hidden' in complex products from which they are difficult to recover. Collection is inefficient, consumers may not feel incentivised to recycle, and policy and legislative initiatives such as Extended Producer Responsibility focus on large volume metals rather than small quantity techmetals. There is a lack of end-to-end visibility and connection between different parts of techmetal value chains.The TechMet consortium brings together the Universities of Exeter, Birmingham, Leicester, Manchester and the British Geological Survey who are already working on how to improve the raw materials cycle, manufacture goods to be re-used and recycled, recycle complex goods such as batteries and use and re-use equipment for as long as possible before it needs recycling. One of our first tasks is to track the current flows of techmetals through the UK economy, which although fundamental, is poorly known. The Centre will conduct new interdisciplinary research on interventions to improve each stage in the cycle and join up the value chain - raw materials can be newly mined and recycled, and manufacturing technology can be linked directly to re-use and recycling. The environmental footprint of our techmetals will be evaluated. Business, regulatory and social experts will recommend how the UK can best put all these stages together to make a new techmetals circular economy and produce a strategy for its implementation.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 03/11/21