BIORECOVER: New Bio-based Technologies for Recapture of Critical Raw Materials
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BIORECOVER brings together diverse expertise with the goal of developing a new sustainable and safe process, essentially based on biotechnology, for selective extraction of critical raw materials (CRMs), rare earth elements (REE), magnesium and platinum group metals (pgms). The four-year European Union (EU) H2020 project involves 14 international partners from mining, microbiology, chemistry, engineering, metallurgy, sustainable process development, as well as CRM end-users. Starting from relevant unexploited secondary and primary sources of CRMs, BIORECOVER will develop and integrate three stages for CRM extraction: (a) removal of major impurities present in raw materials; (b) mobilisation of CRMs through use of microorganisms; and (c) development of specific technologies for recovering metals with high selectivity and purity that meet the quality requirements for reuse. Downstream processes will be developed and recovered metals will be assessed by end-users. Modelling and integration of the modular stages and economic and environmental assessment will be done to develop the most effective and sustainable process. This short feature describes the aims and approach, project technologies and intended outputs of the BIORECOVER project.