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New technologies for the enhanced recovery of by-products


Actions should develop sustainable systemic solutions through industrially- and user-driven multidisciplinary consortia covering the relevant value chain of non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials.

Actions should develop sustainable solutions finishing at the level of Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 3-5.

Actions should evaluate the potential by-products[[The term ""by-products"" should be interpreted here as the constituents usually accompanying the major component(s) of a raw material at low concentrations.]] existing in primary or secondary raw materials and should develop energy-, material- and cost-efficient new sustainable mineral processing and/or metallurgical technologies and processes to increase the selectivity and the recovery rates of valuable by-products, particularly critical raw materials. The importance of the targeted sources of by-products for the EU economy should be duly demonstrated in the proposal. Recycling of end-of-life products is excluded from this topic.

All actions should contribute to achieving the objectives of the EIP on Raw Materials and to building the EU knowledge base of primary and secondary raw materials by feeding into the EC Raw Materials Information System – RMIS[[]]. Actions should also contribute to improving the awareness of relevant external stakeholders and the general public across the EU about the importance of raw materials for society, the challenges related to their supply within the EU and about proposed solutions which could help to improve society's acceptance of and trust in sustainable raw materials production in the EU.

Actions should include a task to cluster with other projects financed under this topic and – if possible – with other relevant projects in the field funded by Horizon 2020, in support of the EIP on Raw Materials.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 million and EUR 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Securing the sustainable access to raw materials, including metals, industrial minerals and construction raw materials, and particularly Critical Raw Materials (CRM), is of high importance for the EU economy. There is a need for innovative and sustainable raw materials production solutions at lower TRLs to increase the range and quality of raw materials recovered from primary and secondary resources.

This specific challenge is identified in the Priority Area 'Technologies for primary and secondary raw materials production' of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials.

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • pushing the EU to the forefront in the area of raw materials processing technologies and solutions through generated know-how (planned patents, publications in high impact journals and joint public-private publications etc.);
  • significantly increased process selectivity, broader range and higher recovery rates of valuable raw materials, particularly critical raw materials, thereby unlocking substantial reserves of new or currently unexploited/underexploited resources within the EU;
  • significantly increased economic performance in terms of higher material-, water-, energy- and cost-efficiency and flexibility in minerals processing, metallurgical or recycling processes;
  • in the longer term, improving the competitiveness of and creating added value and new jobs in raw materials processing, refining, equipment manufacturing and downstream industries;
  • improving significantly the health, safety and environmental performance of the operations throughout the whole life cycle which is considered, including a reduction in waste, wastewater and emissions generation and a better recovery of resources from generated waste.