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Ionometallurgy of primary sources for an enhanced raw materials recovery

Project description

Discovering Europe’s inner wealth

Raw materials offer environmentally friendly, clean technology applications and are essential for the manufacture of new and innovative products, such as photovoltaic systems. Contributing to the EIP Raw Materials Strategic Implementation Plan, the EU-funded Ion4Raw project aims to convert new and currently unexploited resources into reserves. It proposes an energy-, material- and cost-efficient new mineral processing technology that will help in the recovery of by-products from primary sources (such as germanium or indium) and major metals, such as copper, silver and gold. The process is based on the use of deep eutectic solvent ionic liquids and advanced electrorecovery. Ion4Raw is working towards TRL level 5 and the production of a sound systemic solution.


The Ion4Raw project proposes an energy-, material- and cost-efficient new mineral processing technology to recover by-products from primary sources by means of innovative Deep Eutectic Solvent (DES) ionic liquids and advanced electrorecovery as an only step. A joint recovery of by-products from primary sources which belong to the Cu-Ag-Au group is proposed. Most of the targeted by-products elements are Critical Raw Materials as bismuth (Bi), germanium (Ge), indium (In), cobalt (Co), platinum (Pt) and antimony (Sb). Accompanying major product metals, e.g. copper (Cu), silver (Ag) and gold (Au), may also be recovered by this process. The flexibility of the process (to be demonstrated to TRL 5 through a prototype) increases its market penetration potential as a sound systemic solution.
The technical feasibility of this concept is supported by the TRL 2-3. From this starting point, the Ion4Raw project aims to reach TRL 5 by implementing a process prototype at TECNALIA (TEC) facilities. Furthermore, to produce a sound systemic solution, comprehensive by-product potential mapping will be carried out to link the Ion4Raw process with suitable sources.
Finally, Ion4Raw project has a very promising business potential since it will allow mining and mineral processing companies to fully exploit by-product potential by recovering them at their own facilities. This will contribute to unlocking the full potential of Europe’s inner wealth by converting new and currently unexploited resources into reserves.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 1 047 750,00
Calle early ovington 4 nave 8
41300 La rinconada (sevilla)

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Sur Andalucía Sevilla
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (13)