The PLATIRUS initiative develops more efficient recovery processes for platinum group metals than current recycling processes

6 May 2021
catalizador de vehículo junto a lingotes de platino

The research carried out represents an important contribution to moving industry towards environmental sustainability

The PLATIRUS initiative “Recovery of Platinum Group Metals using secondary raw materials” develops innovative and profitable recovery processes aimed at providing the base for a new supply chain of platinum group metals (PGMs).

To address this challenge, PLATIRUS has developed several innovative processes and technologies that take advantage of alternative sources for these materials, such as automotive catalysts, electrical, electronic and mining waste and other secondary raw materials.

As it is extremely difficult to extract PGMs, the importance of their recovery is heightened. The recovery of 100% of the automotive catalysts alone would put 29 tonnes of PGMs on the market, an amount that exceeds the current gap between supply and demand.

Raw Materials Summit 2020

The project develops more efficient recovery processes than current recycling processes that are highly energy-intensive and require high capital investment. These innovative processes focus on increasing the efficiency of leaching, as well as the recovery of PGMs in a pure form.

A team of researchers presented the findings of the study at the Raw Materials Summit in 2020. They demonstrated the potential of the PLATIRUS technologies in terms of the development of the circular economy. The research carried out represents an important contribution to moving industry towards environmental sustainability, while also helping European companies maintain their position at the forefront of innovation.

Ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium and platinum have been classified as critical raw materials. They have a wide range of uses: in the automotive sector and electronics, for example. These metals are among the least abundant in nature and much of the current supply is imported from geopolitically unstable areas.

Further information

European Union
PLATIRUS is a project funded by the European Commission. It has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, under Grant Agreement No. 730224.