EARN research & development

Practical and applied

Ever-increasing requirements for recycling solutions, the internationalisation of markets and rising raw material prices call for innovative, holistic concepts for take-back solutions, recycling processes and material cycles. EARN combines its experience of operational electronics recycling and WEEE Directive related know-how with targeted research activities.

Take advantage of our expertise for forward-thinking development of your processes!

EARN R&D areas of expertise

  • Developing customized take-back and collection concepts
  • Developing take-back systems in other regions
  • Improving efficiency in treatment processes and take-back solutions
  • Conducting scientific studies on the availability of secondary raw materials
  • Developing targeted waste routes for recycling systems
  • Developing recycling management concepts for the circular economy

Case studies: Critical Raw Material Closed Loop Recovery (CRM Recovery)

As part of the European Critical Raw Material Closed Loop Recovery project, new methods of waste electrical equipment collection are being developed and tested. The aim in particular is to recover critical raw materials, such as gold, cobalt, antimony, tantalum, rare elements, silver and platinum, which can be found in small quantities in some devices and appliances. The goal is to increase the recovery of critical raw materials in Europe by 5% by 2020. For the project’s duration until 2019, pilots are being run simultaneously in four European countries (UK, Germany, Italy and Czech Republic) and the results will be submitted as proposals to the European Commission for developing the WEEE Directive further.

  • Project partners:
    The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)
    European Advanced Recycling Network (EARN)
    European Recycling Platform UK Limited (ERP UK Ltd)
    Knowledge Transfer Network Limited (KTN)
    Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy GmbH (WI)
  • EARN’s project contribution:
    Applied assistance with case studies, offering our knowledge of recycling materials and techniques within the European network, as well as of the consolidation and recycling of secondary raw materials.
  • Project duration:
    The project will run for 3½ years, funded by the EU LIFE programme and ending in March 2019.

Further information: www.criticalrawmaterialrecovery.eu