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From mineral processing to waste management and recycling: common challenges and needs for innovation in France

Abstract : The world’s population is constantly growing, the global standard of living is increasing, urbanisation is developing on all continents and both the digital transformation and the necessary energy transition are underway. These different “societal phenomena” have in common that they exponentially increase the need for raw materials (metals and other minerals). For example, the demand for certain strategic metals for manufacturing batteries required for electric mobility and the energy transition is expected to explode. According to the recent raw material score board (2021) from the European commission, the lithium demand will increase by a factor of 20 in 2030; an increase by 5 is expected for cobalt. Projections for copper use show that consumption in the next 25 years will be higher than the total cumulative consumption since the Copper Age (during the Neolithic). To meet these supply challenges whilst respecting the major sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations, it is necessary to improve the resource efficiency, meaning using the Earth’s limited resources in a sustainable manner whilst minimising impacts on the environment: delivering greater value with less input. In other words, R&D action must help to improve the environmental and societal efficiency of extractive activities, to optimise the use of metals and materials throughout their life cycle by reducing losses, and finally to set up recycling processes as part of a circular economy. The shift from a linear to a circular economy is imperative to ensure that the economic growth is not only based on the use of natural resources. [...] The objective of this paper is not only to show the common challenges faced by ore and waste treatment technologies but also to highlight some specific innovation needs associated with each resources depending of their origin (primary secondary end of life).
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Soumis le : lundi 19 septembre 2022 - 12:23:35
Dernière modification le : mardi 20 septembre 2022 - 03:04:52


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Patrick d'Hugues, Stephane Bourg, Yannick Menard. From mineral processing to waste management and recycling: common challenges and needs for innovation in France. Mineral Economics, 2022, ⟨10.1007/s13563-022-00338-y⟩. ⟨hal-03780419⟩



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