ReCreew European network for innovative recovery strategies of rare earth and other Critical metals from electrical and electronic waste

  • Hursthouse, A. (Speaker)
  • Kerstin Kuchta (Speaker)
  • Julia Hobohm (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


Critical metals (CM) which include rare earth metals (REM) are essential and important for the production of electrical and electronic equipment. An increasing demand for green and information technology products could lead to a scarcity of these resources in future and a dependency on a very few supply countries. Currently the extraction of CM from ores is energy intensive and involves environmental risks due to the toxic chemicals involved. An alternative source for CM is Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). Through the currently applied recycling processes of this complex waste stream REM are lost completely. Moreover, inadequate recycling approaches in developing countries are causing severe occupational exposure and environmental harm. Hence, it is essential to develop effective and ecologically sound systems, including concerted collection, pre-treatment and refining processes for more efficient recovery. Due to these wide ranging challenges the recovery of CM from WEEE cannot be solved on a national level. Expertise from across many scientific disciplines needs to align to create an interdisciplinary, transnational alliance in the pan-European context. This COST Action ReCreew aims to create a European network for innovative CM recovery in order to support the supply of European industries while reducing environmental hazards on global scale. After two years of collaboration reviews and understanding of the WEEE management issues provide critical analysis of research directions.
Period2 Jul 2017
Event title33rd International Conference of the Society for Environmental Geochemistry & Health
Event typeConference
LocationGuangzhou, ChinaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • critical materials
  • rare earth elements
  • waste electronic and electircal items
  • waste management