On this page, soon you will have access to learning modules covering the following topics:
Here are short video introduction into selected issues covered by the SusCritMat modules
Criticality – Interview with Dominique Guyonnet
In this video, Dominique Guyonnet from BRGM introduces into the topic of critical raw materials: how are they different from other materials, how are they defined? What makes them so important and what are the underlying issues concerning their extraction and use? Dominique Guyonnet shows why we need to pay attention to these questions.
A Short History of Materials Strategies
David Peck from TU Delft highlights the historical role of raw materials. After showing how materials were both an important cause of and decisive factor in both world wars – where the notion of “critical raw materials” was established out of necessity -, David Peck illustrates how raw materials continued to shape geopolitics and how the current field of “critical raw materials” has evolved to this day.
Characterizing the Urban Mine
In a world where demand for materials continues to grow, but primary supply is limited, Amund Loevik from Empa discusses secondary sources or the “urban mine”: recycling materials in manufactured goods. He explains why characterizing the urban mine is necessary to solve the problem of recycling materials from highly complex and diverse goods, and shows how this approach can increase the currently too low recycling rate.
Circular Product Design
Using a vivid example, Ruud Balkenende from TU Delft illustrates why the current product design is tantamount to a huge waste of materials, money and time, and why a circular approach is necessary: for the sake of the environment, society and the economy, a product’s viability for recycling needs to be taken into account already at design stage.
Supply Risk Factors in Criticality Assessment
As the assessment of the criticality of a material depends on both its economic importance and its supply, Ester van der Voet from Leiden University gives insight into what factors can make a material scarce, and how the EU calculates the supply risk of materials. As current models of criticality assessment struggle to include all relevant factors, she suggests to develop a separate criticality assessment for materials from secondary sources.
Scenarios for critical raw materials
As global demand for critical raw materials continues to grow, crucial for an optimal supply of these materials is to predict which ones and how much of them will be needed. Ester van der Voet from Leiden University presents scenarios assessment – a method used to deal with the problem at hand. After giving a short theoretical introduction into the method of scenario assessment, she discusses various scenarios for supply and demand of critical raw materials.
Life Cycle Assessment
Stefano Cucurachi from Leiden University talks about one of the key methods of industrial ecology, Life Cycle assessment (LCA). He introduces basic concepts of LCA, gives examples of common uses, discusses the standard phases of a LCA and concludes with the benefits of the Life Cycle approach.
Responsible Sourcing of Critical Materials
Thibaut Maury from the University of Bordeaux introduces the concept, goals and potential of responsible sourcing at the example of “conflict materials”.