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Dutch researchers to explore metal and phosphate recovery in world's biggest consortium on raw materials

Posted on 22 December 2014

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The consortium KIC RawMatTERS has won the call from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) for a strategic partnership to boost innovation and tackle raw materials challenges in Europe. EIT made the announcement on 9 December.

KIC RawMatTERS is the biggest consortium on raw materials in the world. It brings together over 100 partners from 20 EU member states in the Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC), linking research, technology and business.

Five partners are from the Netherlands: Leiden University, applied scientific research institute TNO, Radboud University Nijmegen, Delft University of Technology and Wetsus Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology.

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Research studies by Wetsus include bio-electrochemical treatment (BES) of urine to recover valuable nutrients (P and NH3).

Recovery of phosphates from liquid streams
As a KIC community the partners will work on recycling of valuable raw materials from industrial waste streams, landfills, wastewater and mining.

In this consortium the Dutch research institutes will work together with industrial partners such as Umicore, ArcelorMittal, Boliden, Arkema, BASF and Pirelli.

Wetsus will be involved in the recovery of metals and phosphates from liquid streams.

This enables the water technology institute to scale up a range of its activities to European level. In September Wetsus already joined the Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) on climate.

New sources for critical raw materials
Prof. Jens Gutzmer from Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, the key coordinating partner said: "Our goal is to boost the competitiveness, growth and attractiveness of the European raw materials sector via radical innovation and entrepreneurship. We want to focus on sustainable growth and job creation by boosting start-ups, SMEs and education; and we are the strongest consortium ever created in the raw materials field. By 2022, we are aiming to create, among others, 64 start-ups and 5 new primary/secondary sources of critical raw materials".

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 Production of struvite from wastewater.

Attract the best researchers, students and entrepreneurs
"With the support of the EIT and funds from Horizon 2020, these partnerships have a great opportunity to attract the best researchers, students and entrepreneurs. This will be crucial to ensure that they contribute to our efforts to improve Europe’s innovation capacity and competitiveness", said Commissioner Navracsics.

About KIC
Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC) are initiated by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

The first three KICs on climate, ict labs and sustainable energy, were formed in 2010. This year two new KICs were added on raw materials and health.

The next call for KIC Proposals is in 2016 focusing on Food4Future and Added-value Manufacturing. Tentatively planned for 2018 is a call addressing Urban Mobility.

About EIT
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is a body of the European Union based in Budapest, Hungary. It aims to enhance Europe’s ability to innovate, being one step ahead in providing solutions to rapidly emerging societal problems and developing.
EIT Raw materials factsheet (download as pdf file)

About Wetsus
Wetsus is a scientific research centre for development of profitable and sustainable state of the art water treatment technology. The inspiring and multidisciplinary collaboration between companies and research institutes from all over Europe in Wetsus, results in innovations that contribute significantly to the solution of the global water problems.

Wetsus is part of WaterCampus Leeuwarden and acts as Technological Top Institute for Water technology.

This news item is based on press releases originally published on the websites of EIT and Wetsus.


More information
Wetsus
Leeuwarden, the Netherlands
+31 58 284 30 00 
www.wetsus.nl

Promotional video by European Union: Raw Materials - The stuff that dreams are made of

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