- Date 6 Dec 2021
In our recent report, Decarbonisation: materials and circularity challenges for clean technologies, we discover the views of experts at our roundtable, held in March this year. The event was held by our Environment, Sustainability and Energy Division (ESED).
During the event, experts from academia, industry, and policy discussed the challenges of creating a circular economy for batteries, electric vehicles and wind power, and particularly on the critical materials and precious elements needed for this technology.
A circular economy is critical for the sustainable deployment of clean technologies for a decarbonised future. Many technologies are not reused or recycled at the end of their lives, which represents a waste of important materials, and also contributes to the problem of waste in the environment.
Chemists are working to develop methods for recovering materials from waste technology – in particular focusing on areas of technological importance such as electric vehicle battery end-of-life processing.
Chemists are also considering technology design and construction when developing their research into critical material use and recovery.
More tailored recovery techniques are needed to avoid the unintentional loss of critical materials during end-of-life technology processing, while chemical solutions are needed to enable circular design, such as the safe disassembly of batteries and the reuse of their valuable components.