Articles ＆ files | Energies | Environment | Green Chemistry
Recycling & Green Chemistry
Liten has set its sights on solutions to make the technologies being developed for tomorrow's low-carbon energy systems more sustainable. The institute is developing innovative processes capable of addressing new reserves of materials and, specifically, mining waste and spent electronic components. The goal is to recycle the most critical materials in such a way as to limit environmental impacts and, more broadly, address the entire value chain from design, extraction, and use to end-of-life, recycling, and reuse in low-carbon energy applications.
Liten researchers are synthesizing materials and developing eco-processes to meet the needs of the energy industry. Developments begin in the lab and are then scaled up to prepare for transfer to the market while ensuring compliance with applicable regulations.
Liten stands out for its capacity to develop recycling processes specific to spent renewable-energy components. However, the institute is also investigating new recycling channels for secondary materials leveraging its proprietary technologies.
At the same time, Liten is developing eco-design approaches for components that enable the best possible use of recycling processes.
Hydrometallurgical and supercritical water processes are currently in the lead, offering substantial advantages such as:
This research is conducted by a multidisciplinary team spanning chemistry, chemical engineering, electrochemistry, materials analytics, and materials science.
It is intended for:
The processes utilized at Liten are at TRL 3 to TRL 5 to facilitate scaleup and transfer.
A whopping 390.7 million tons of plastic were produced worldwide in in 2021––a figure that could skyrocket to 1.2 trillion tons per year by 2060 if something doesn't change. Among the environmental impacts of plastics are greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing, a problem that bio-based polymers could help solve.
A significant challenge for the electric motor industry is reducing reliance on rare earth elements in permanent magnets without sacrificing product performance. Recycling the magnets to recover and reuse these critical materials offers a solution. But the magnets are notoriously tough to separate from the motors...
CEA-Liten is leading efforts to develop a high-performance, economically competitive, and sovereign permanent magnet manufacturing industry in France. The recovery and recycling of critical materials will be one of its main pillars.
Human Health and the Environment
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.