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why ION4RAW exists

A novel and sustainable ionometallurgical process

The long-term availability of mineral resources is crucial in underpinning human society, technological and economic activity, and managing anthropogenic environmental impacts.

When a metal is obtained largely or completely as a by-product, its production is often unable to respond quickly to rapid changes in consumption trends and, as a result, its price can fluctuate widely.

As an example, indium is produced as by-product of zinc. Demand for indium expanded significantly over the past few decades, especially with increased demand for flat panel displays that use indium tin oxide; the primary production of indium thus increased a staggering 1675% from 1975 to 2012, whereas for zinc it increased by a more modest 231% over the same time period. This was only possible because of enhanced recovery of indium from zinc-dominant ore. If such disparities in the demand of the host and companion were to continue, the recovery of indium from zinc ores would need to be further improved.

This introduces an additional challenge: for many by-products, there are no reliable estimates of ore reserves or cost-effective technologies to recover them without affecting major commodity production. Hence, to secure supply, there is a need to identify and develop indigenous resources.

NUMBERS SPEAK

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Our Project

10

By-products

13

Partners

8

Countries

48

Months

WHAT WE DO

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Our project proposes a new energy-, material- and cost-efficient mineral processing technology to recover by-products from primary sources by means of innovative Deep Eutectic Solvent (DES) ionic liquids and advanced electrochemical methods as an only step.

Project Management 20%
Sustainability assessment 20%
Ionometallurgical process 10%
Upscaling & Demo 20%

Context