Department of Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling (IME)

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Department of Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling (IME)

The Institute of Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling at RWTH Aachen University is one of the leading European institutes in the field of circular economy with a focus on the recycling of metals. In addition to the base metals aluminium and copper, the Institute's focus is increasingly on the socalled strategic metals on which our economy is existentially dependent. In the mobile phone alone, there are more than 20 of them: indium in the touchscreen, gallium in the computer chip, antimony as flame retardant or gold as corrosion protection on contacts.

The main research at the Institute of Professor Karl Bernhard Friedrich is therefore the development of environmentally friendly and cost-efficient recycling processes for all these metals. A particular challenge is that products made of non-ferrous metals only very rarely return to the material cycle in pure form. They must therefore be separated in different processes and enriched in concentrates so that new products can be produced. One of the institute's outstanding research fields worldwide is, for example, the recycling of end of life Li-ion batteries from electric vehicles.

Detailed information on the IME's research priorities can be found here and on Instagram at ime_rwth.