CIC energiGUNE, the Basque research center of reference in electrochemical energy storage, thermal energy storage and conversion and hydrogen technologies, is working on the possibility of recovering critical materials for batteries, such as lithium or cobalt, from waste from the mining and metallurgical industries. This research is part of the European METALLICO project, of which CIC energiGUNE– member of the Basque Research and Technology Alliance-BRTA- is part, together with 22 other entities and companies of the continent.
We are convinced that Europe has a much greater potential to produce critical raw materials than is believed; the problem is that until now it has been overly dependent on imports” has assured Nestor Antuñano, Principal Investigator of CIC energiGUNE in the METALLICO project. “With this project we are giving Europe a new opportunity so that it can position itself in a key strategic sector and minimize dependence on countries rich in this type of metals, such as China, South Africa or Australia”.
The METALLICO consortium comprises all the value chain, including mining and industrial sites with primary and secondary sources of critical and battery metals; experienced partners in the development of novel processes for the production of battery-grade materials; industrial end-users; and SMEs in the battery, cement, paint and ceramics sectors. Within this cluster, CIC energiGUNE is in charge of coordinating the validation of the final products recovered by different industrial users, as well as validating the elements obtained from the mining and metallurgic waste (Li2CO3 y CoSO4) in the battery-manufacturing sector.