The careful use of resources is an important element of the sustainability goals of Europe and Germany. In addition to the application and utilization efficiency at process and product level, the recycling of abiotic raw materials is an essential instrument, the consumption of primary raw materials and thus the environmental burden of their extraction and processing reduce. Especially metals have a great potential here because of their technically unlimited cyclability. The importance of many metals, especially for innovative and high-tech products, also creates a great economic interest, especially in technology-oriented economies. Recycling is also seen as an important tool if there is an increased supply risk for primary raw materials due to limited occurrence or political / strategic influence on markets (critical strategic metals).
The overall objective of the project "Identification of Substitution Potentials of Primary Strategic Metals by Secondary Materials (Brief Title: Recycling Potential of Strategic Metals - ReStra)" is therefore a systematic analysis of waste streams and disposal chains. Subgoals are based on identifying the current and future demand for strategic metals to identify relevant wastes in terms of their content of these metals. In the next step, the substitution potential of primary resources derived from secondary raw materials was derived from the considered waste. The presentation of current recycling technologies for strategic metals then forms the basis for deriving organizational-legal and financial recommendations for a resource-efficient design of the recycling chain. The scope of the project is Germany in the year 2020.
In addition to energy generation technologies such as photovoltaic and wind energy plants, the product selection results include industrial catalysts or ceramics with various applications.