End-of-life perspective for advanced energy storage, mobility and electronics technology materials: a gateway to a sustainable circular economy

Ajay B. Patil


The world is witnessing unprecedented advances in the field of renewable energy generation, storage, electrical mobility, and digital technologies. These developments are necessary to achieve our ambitions of becoming a green and sustainable society that retains economic prosperity. Behind the scenes this transition is enabled by a multitude of increasingly complex materials marked by impressive optoelectronic and/ magnetic properties. Not only does the complexity of materials increase, but also similar is true for the compositional architecture of machines, gadgets and installations. This is combined with an ever-increasing speed with which advanced technologies penetrate global markets and the often very limited life span / planned obsolence of many advanced technologies. Together, these factors yield a rapidly increasing volume of waste materials of complex composition. Such complex waste materials do not only contain a vast variety of valuable resources but, if left untreated, may cause great harm to humans and the environment. It is, therefore, obvious that we need no less than a paradigm shift. EoL products should be regarded not as waste but as valuable secondary resource. Technological solutions are urgently needed to drive the transition towards holistic recycling concepts.

The simple, holistic and yet sustainable answer to all these questions is the adoption of circular economy strategies. This talk will present the opportunities and challenges in management of advanced materials with end-of-life perspective. How the fundamental understanding of materials properties and quantities is necessary in viable circular economy process developments and implementation. It will be complemented by select examples of technologies developed for the recycling of relevant materials and its materials safety-related implications.

About Ajay Bhagwan Patil

Ajay Bhagwan Patil holds a PhD in Analytical and Radiochemistry. After research stays at the University of Bologna (Italy), Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and EPFL-PSI (Switzerland), he is now head of the department of Process Metallurgy at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) in Freiberg (Germany) and Senior Lecturer in Circular economy and Analytical chemistry at University of Jyväskylä (Finland).

In his research, Ajay B. Patil focuses on the circular economy of critical metals: their design, development and implementation. Other aspects of his work are process development and economic feasibility in hydrometallurgy and comprehensive and alternative value chains for raw materials in the field of pyrometallurgy. He is further interested in safe and sustainable management of e-waste, metallic resources and advanced materials.

At the conference

Assembly and disassembly of safe advanced materials

Date & time
8 November 2023, 10:30

Ajay B Patil, Jens Gutzmer

Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF), 09599 Freiberg (Germany)

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