Recycling of high-tech metals in the context of the circular economy

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1 MILAN, Recycling of high-tech metals in the context of the circular economy wo stehen wir heute im Vergleich zu vor zehn Jahren? Dr. Christian Hagelüken

2 Closing the loop of metal based materials is core of the Umicore business model Application know-how Metals Chemistry material Material science solutions Metallurgy Material solutions Recycling employees, ~ 80 industrial sites worldwide, turnover 2014 : 8.8 Billion (2.4 B w/o metals) 2

3 Umicore in product lifecycles Closing the loop for precious metals bearing functional materials Jewellery 3

4 Cobalt loop rechargeable batteries & superalloys Umicore BU Cobalt & Specialty Metals Co chemicals & powders Ni chemicals Applications: - Ceramics - Catalysts - Surface treatment - Diamond Tools - Electronics - Hard Metals - Rechargeable Batteries Co, Ni material solutions Cathode Mat, Powders Oxides Salts End-User Markets: - Aviation Turbine blades - EVs & Mobile phones - Ni Plating -Primary Co Cathode -Co Refineries -Co Residues -Ni By-product Recycling + Re 4

5 Industrial Germanium Loop Umicore Electro Optical Materials Substrates Optics Optical Fibres Solar Cells and LEDs Infrared & Optics Ge material solutions NASA Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity By-products from Zn-mining & coal fly ashes Recycling 5

6 Metals & materials in Umicore portfolio - some considered as critical for the EU source: European Commission, Critical Raw Materials for the EU, updated report July 2014 Modern products with increasing functionality & performance trigger demand for a wide range of high-tech metals The shift towards renewable energy & improved resource efficiency will cause a further raising use of high-tech metals Still significant improvement potential for recycling of these metals (UNEP 2011) 6

7 Source: EU-COM (2014) 398, Towards a circular economy, ; M. Gislev, DG GROW, Circular Economy Strategy,

8 Why do we need a Circular Economy? Environment: inefficient resource use has negative environmental impacts Access to raw materials: Scarcity of resources, EU dependence on imports from often politically unstable countries, price volatility, competitiveness of EU industry Societal challenge: global middle class to double to nearly 5 billion by 2030, causing rise in consumption & pressure on resources Innovation & growth potential Significant cost saving & job creation opportunities for EU industry Source: Based on EU-COM (2014) 398 and presentations by EU Commission

9 Circular Economy from a metals perspective - ideal candidate: eternally reusable, no downcycling / quality issues A circle is only closed if materials physically find their way into new product lifecycles ensure high quality recycling along the entire chain Economic requirements to be solved special challenge to close materials cycles for complex products ensure that revenues match costs for high quality recycling Recycling cannot entirely fulfil metal needs but it can provide an important contribution Mining & recycling are complementary for supply Smart materials, product design & resource efficient use are key to optimise material demand Optimising material utilisation along lifecycle is more important than only reducing material use Metal cycles are complex and interdependent system approach and consideration of whole value chain is crucial Circular economy = recovering metals/materials comprehensively at product EoL, when ever and where ever this will take place global dimension

10 Impact factors for success Intrinsic factors: Material value Complexity / heterogeneity Hazardous substances inside? Lifecycle type (B2C, B2B) Extrinsic factors: Collection infrastructure Legislation / monitoring / enforcement External collection incentives (e.g. leasing, deposits, ) Stakeholder behavior & motivation (consumers/emotional link, OEMs/EPR culture, retailers, recyclers)

11 Eurometaux position on Circular Economy Strategic objectives: Move from waste management to resource management Secure cost-efficient access to secondary raw materials for the metals industry to recycle more and more efficiently and for downstream industries Source: Eurometaux s proposed measures to ensure an effective circular economy, 10th March 2015 Eurometaux has identified 15 challenges to a more circular management of metals related to Metals sourcing & production Metals use Metals recycling And proposes concrete measures to address these

12 5 key items for Umicore (1): Umicore s contributions, challenges & proposed measures 1. Industrial symbiosis: Umicore long-time expertise in metal by-products and waste Challenge: Material must reach the adequate processing Enhance transparency across the entire value chain & prevent dubious exports; Facilitate the transport across MS to state of the art recycling facilities 2. Cooperation along the value chain: We actively develop service solutions with clients Challenge: It cannot be solved by only one level The result is more than the sum of the individual steps; find ways to foster a more system-orientated stakeholder cooperation; ensure that after repair & reuse EoL products finally are properly recycled 3. Level playing field & process certification: We offer quality recycling, security of supply, maximizing recycling and minimizing impact Challenge: The most cost effective solution is not necessarily the best solution establish a mandatory EU certification scheme for some waste streams (e.g. WEEE, batteries); put adequate attention on recycling quality in take-back/epr schemes 12

13 5 key items (2): Umicore s contributions, challenges & proposed measures 4. Adequate financial valorisation: We physically close the loop for many materials; direct & indirect economic drivers Challenge: Reliable supplies at adequate pricing of offered services Implement minimum operating conditions for EPR schemes, including shared responsibility, fair cost-sharing and accountability 5. Intelligent target setting: Our certified processes take place at end of the recycling chain, generating pure metals & materials useable for the next cycle Challenges: How to set intelligent / meaningful targets? Collection: Easy to measure but don t mix type (e.g. mobile phone & white goods) Recycling: System boundary & calculation method for target achievement. Solely weight based targets disregard high-tech metals; Unless the final recycling process (metallurgical recovery) is known/considered, recycling targets tell little about to which extent the metal circle really has been closed Introduce waste stream specific collection targets Adopt clear definitions and a harmonized calculation method (ambitious, but pragmatic targets) Potential solution: combine ambitious collection targets with controlled channeling of EoL products and fractions thereof into certified high quality recycling processes. 13

14 Conclusion Circular Economy requires a comprehensive system approach Development of innovative materials & products Sustainable use concepts & business models use, reuse, repair Comprehensive collection of resource relevant EoL products Ambitious collection targets (incl. sub-categories) & landfill ban for recyclable waste Extension of collection infrastructure, providing of incentives Prevention of illegal/dubious exports Uniform & reliable data collection / documentation Secure high quality recycling for (mechanical) pre-processing and chemical/ metallurgical end-processing Standards* & certification systems as basis for a fair & transparent competition Secure economic viability Facilitate shipment to certified recycling plants (intra EU & imports into EU) Strict monitoring, enforcement and documentation, transparency of material flows Process development & innovation funding in selected areas Overarching & long time oriented stakeholder cooperation, systemic approach *techn. performance, environmental & social standards 14

15 Thanks for your attention Contact For more background:: UNEP (2013): Metal Recycling: Opportunities, Limits, Infrastrutcure Hagelüken, C.: Recycling of (critical) metals, in: Gunn, G. (ed): Critical Metals Handbook, Wiley & Sons,

16 Circular Economy Impact on Growth + Jobs 20

17 Circular Economy From Landfill to Recycling 21

18 Circular Economy Treatment Categories (Conceptual) 5% Recycling 95% Landfill Equivalent to generation of jobs and value added Pure material Fractions for end-processing Volume for pre-processing EOL Products Pure material Fractions for end-processing Volume for pre-processing Recycling Dubious leakage of waste 18 EOL Products 22

19 Impact factors for success of a circular economy (CE) Glass, paper, PET preciousmetal jewellery PGMchemical catalysts Ge bearing industrial residues WEEE, (ELV) Pb car batteries (Germany) intrinsic factors Material value o (+) (+) complexity / heterogenity - - o o ++ o hazardous substances contained? - - o o + ++ lifecycle type B2C B2C B2B B2B B2C B2C Product mobility / multiple users o o o external factors Collection-infrastructur ++ o o external collection incentives (deposits) deposit legislation/monitoring/enforcement + o + "emotional link / attractiveness" x x grade of achievement CE* * in relation to entity of resource relevant materials contained in a product - low / no o medium / partly '+ high / yes B2C consumer goods, open product cycles, low transaprency on material flows B2B industrial users, closed product cycles, relatively high transparency on material flows 19

20 Economic viability is basis for a circular economy recoverable material value recycling chain costs + recycling fee >! 1 material content x mat. price Product & technology development market development Technical performance Process chain efficiency Factor costs Available volumes/economies of scale Environmental & social performance Depending on political & societal frame conditions How to secure a level playing field? (environmental, social & technical compliance) How to value recovery of (critical) materials with little value?

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