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New techniques needed to recover strategic metals

Germany – Thirteen Germany organisations, including private companies, technical universities and research institutes, have founded a recycling ‘cluster’ called REWIMET.

The group’s objective is to stimulate science and research by developing recycling strategies and processes for what it defines as economically strategic metals, from collection through to industrial reuse. This should help ensure secondary availability of these metals.

Highly complex components in some electrical and electronic devices means that there is more some metals already in use than there is left in the earth, REWIMET points out. New recovery processes will therefore be needed to recover metals such as germanium, indium, gallium and rhenium.

‘A single company cannot do that. We need partnerships and it is necessary to combine our knowledge,’ said REWIMET President Dr Reimund Westphal.

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