Urban Mining ! – More important than ever

= Capture Critical Minerals & Elements in recycling

I say the future needs to be Urban Mining = Total Materials Recycling.
Waste is not only Wealth. Waste is our Warranty of Resources.
Clean Energy Demand for Critical Minerals is set to skyrocket!
They call it Urban Mining = Recycling Materials
Huge amounts of Critical Minerals in our Waste!

Who is collecting and recycling e-waste? Another post about these companies, HERE!

In this post:
What do you want to know first?
The Demand
The Supply
The Work needed to Supply the Demand
More Urban Mining ! versus Raw Material Mining?
…a list at the bottom of other posts about Waste.

Urban Mining Worldwide

Many Countries around planet Earth can feel this way, today. That they have overlooked the resources needed for the Future.

2:01 minutes – Minerals: The Overlooked Foundation of Our Future

What is?

Urban Mining

The Demand

Everyone is talking about it!

The internet-connected world is completely dependent on the production of semiconductors = chips contain Mineral elements, too.

April 15, 2021 – NYT – …Like many other things in the modern world, from computers and cars to cash registers and kitchen appliances, the sensors require a couple of common, inexpensive semiconductors that have suddenly become a very scarce commodity….

…Shortages of semiconductors, fueled by pandemic interruptions and production issues at multibillion-dollar chip factories, have sent shock waves through the economy. Questions about chips are reverberating among both businesses and policymakers trying to navigate the world’s dependence on the small components.
Chip supply limitations are far from a new phenomenon. But past problems have typically concerned particular kinds of chips, like the types that help store computer memory or process vast amounts of data. This time, customers are also scrambling to find an array of simpler chips made in older factories. And those factories are difficult to upgrade. …

… “Every aspect of human existence is going online, and every aspect of that is running on semiconductors,” said Pat Gelsinger, the new chief executive of the chip maker Intel, who attended the meeting with the president on Monday. “People are begging us for more.”
… The personal computer giant HP said the shortage of semiconductors had prevented the company from being able to meet demand for computers ordered by schools. Rising chip prices also have made it harder to offer affordable hardware for less-wealthy school districts during the pandemic, the company said.

This has been going on a long time!

Critical Minerals and Emerging Technologies

*2010 – We hear that the latest cell phones, electric vehicles, or critical weapons systems might no longer be feasible because some element that most people have never heard of is in short supply or hoarded by another country. …

One factor giving rise to concerns is that modern mineral-based materials are becoming increasingly complex. Intel estimates that computer chips contained 11 mineral-derived elements in the 1980s, 15 elements in the 1990s, and potentially up to 60 elements in the coming years. General Electric estimates that it uses 70 of the first 83 elements in the periodic table in its products. New technologies and engineered materials create the prospect of rapid increases in demand for some minerals previously used in relatively small quantities. On the list are such elements as lithium in automotive batteries for electric vehicles; rare-earth elements in compact-fluorescent light bulbs and in permanent magnets for wind turbines; and cadmium, indium, and tellurium in photovoltaic solar cells. …

…The markets for these rare or specialty metals are/were much smaller and typically more fragile than those of the major metals. A new use in an important technology has the potential to overwhelm the ability of existing producers to respond rapidly to the increase in demand, especially if the element produced is largely as a byproduct. Mineral demand can change significantly in less than five years, whereas it takes five to ten years for significant additions to production capacity to occur. Moreover, there often are only a small number of important producers of these rare metals, and as a result markets are not transparent.

“Today, the data shows a looming mismatch between the world’s strengthened climate ambitions and the availability of critical minerals that are essential to realise those ambitions.”


Clean energy demand for critical minerals set to soar as the world pursues net zero [ Energy] goals

5 May 2021

In the most comprehensive global study yet, IEA shows need for government action to ensure reliable, sustainable supplies of elements vital for EVs, power grids, wind turbines and other key technologies

…Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, says, “The challenges are not insurmountable, but governments must give clear signals about how they plan to turn their climate pledges into action. By acting now and acting together, they can significantly reduce the risks of price volatility and supply disruptions.”
“Left unaddressed, these potential vulnerabilities could make global progress towards a clean energy future slower and more costly – and therefore hamper international efforts to tackle climate change,” Dr Birol said.
The special report, part of the IEA’s flagship World Energy Outlook series, underscores that the mineral requirements of an energy system powered by clean energy technologies differ profoundly from ones that run on fossil fuels. A typical electric car requires six times the mineral inputs of a conventional car, and an onshore wind plant requires nine times more mineral resources than a similarly sized gas-fired power plant. …

…Until the mid-*2010s, for most minerals, the energy sector represented a small part of total demand. However, as energy transitions gather pace, clean energy technologies are becoming the fastest-growing segment of demand. In a scenario that meets the Paris Agreement goals (as in the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario [SDS]), their share of total demand rises significantly over the next two decades to over 40% for copper and rare earth elements, 60-70% for nickel and cobalt, and almost 90% for lithium. EVs and battery storage have already displaced consumer electronics to become the largest consumer of lithium and are set to take over from stainless steel as the largest end user of nickel by 2040. …

Urban Mining forecasts- Urban Mining ! – More important than ever <
Growth in demand for selected minerals from clean energy technologies by scenario, 2040 relative to 2020
Blue – Sustainable Development Scenario – What the EAI believes are the needs by 2040
Red Dot Stated Policies Scenario – what countries have documented as their view of the need

… The types of mineral resources used vary by technology. Lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese and graphite are crucial to battery performance, longevity and energy density. Rare earth elements (REE) are essential for permanent magnets that are vital for wind turbines and EV motors. Electricity networks need a huge amount of copper and aluminium, with copper being a cornerstone for all electricity-related technologies.
The shift to a clean energy system is set to drive a huge increase in the requirements for these minerals, meaning that the energy sector is emerging as a major force in mineral markets.

This is a very detailed report!

>>>Big Gaps in view of future Demand
The Report points out the wide gap between what the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario [SDS] has determined to be the demand for Critical Minerals and the documented / Stated Policies Scenario of governments that have predicted what their believe they need of these Critical Minerals. The IEA, sees wide gaps between these 2 views of the future.

>>>Reporting of Mined or Recycling supply
The report goes into great detail about the future of mining minerals, but little information about other forms of supply, such are from recycling ewaste.

REE elements- Urban Mining ! – More important than ever <
REE 101
Rare Earth Elements (REE) are a group of 15 elements called the “lanthanides” out of which 14 are naturally occurring and stable elements.
Two other elements, Scandium (Sc) and Yttrium (Y) are often grouped together with REE due to their similar properties.
In total, this group of 17 elements has very unique chemical and physical properties due to variation in electron configuration between the individual REE.

Beware of China’s Rare Earth Recycling (REE) Dominance
— Is It Too Late for North America?

–- by Kiril Mugerman (June 10, 2020), from Geomega

Rare earth elements (REE) are used in many devices that people use every day including mobile phones, catalytic converters, magnets, fluorescent lighting, computer memory, DVDs, rechargeable batteries, and much more. …

… REE are not [actually] rare as their name might imply and, in fact, are abundant in the Earth’s crust that range from as high as that of copper, cobalt and lithium and to as low as that of tin.
They are much more abundant than gold, silver and platinum. The challenge in REE is the difficulty of separating them into single elements of high purity due to their chemical similarities, hence the term “rare”. …

…Today, the world is finally starting to understand that REE are not about the mines, although they are still important, but the ‘secret sauce’ is their transformation. Rare-earth metals are among the most difficult elements to process and the hardest to do without.
They rank at the top of all lists of critical materials today with major technical and environmental challenges associated with rare earths extraction from ore, separation, metal and magnet making and recycling.
When it comes to recycling, what is the most sought-after REE product? It’s magnets, which use a considerable number of rare-earth elements. …

…[and] China’s recycling of [these] critical materials from electronic scrap has come at a high cost to the environment [and Labor]. It is important that North America secure an ample supply of REE outside of China to support clean technologies in energy, energy storage and sustainable mobility but use sustainable recycling practices in doing so.
It’s been ten years since the first REE crisis and the problem is far from resolved but the first few seeds signal promise, and we may finally see a flower grow.

What is?

Urban Mining

The Supply

So much undocumented e-waste!
Tons out there to Capture!

Here is another GAP!

Circular [Resource Capture – Closed-Loop]
is going the wrong way!
2020 was a reversal year!
from 9.1% > 8.6%
How will we get to 100% Circular if ????????????

circular report- Urban Mining ! – More important than ever <

2021 Our planet Earth Lost Circular activity in 2020 and is now only 8.6% circular from 9.1% in 2018.
The Circularity Gap Reporting Initiative is an impact organisation dedicated to accelerating the transition to the circular economy. It gives you a good idea of how much, recycling, etc., is necessary to make a difference.

Global E-waste Monitor 2020

The Global E-waste Monitor 2020 provides the most comprehensive overview of the global e-waste challenge, explains how it fits into international efforts to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, and discusses how to create a sustainable society and circular economy. The report provides national and regional analysis on e-waste quantities and legislative instruments, and makes predictions until 2030. It also encourages decision-makers to increase activities to measure and monitor e-waste using an internationally recognised methodological framework.

EEE elements extracted in Urban Mining
The Precious, Critical and non-Critical Elements found in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE)
E-waste-Monitor-2020 – Forti V., Baldé C.P., Kuehr R., Bel G. The Global E-waste Monitor 2020: Quantities,
flows and the circular economy potential. United Nations University (UNU)/United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) – co-hosted SCYCLE Programme, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) & International Solid Waste Association – (ISWA), Bonn/Geneva/Rotterdam. – ISBN Digital: 978-92-808-9114-0
ISBN Print: 978-92-808-9115-7
worldwide Urban Mining- Urban Mining ! – More important than ever <
A record 53.6 million metric tonnes of e-waste – discarded products such as computers and mobile phones – was generated globally in 2019, new ITU report finds. https://www.itu.int The Global E-waste Monitor 2020 – ITU – In 2019, less than half of all countries in the world are currently covered by a policy, legislation, or regulation. – [and therefore most of the collection of e-waste is still not documented].

The E-waste-Monitor-2020 points out that the statistics for both E-waste generated and Documented e-waste collected are hard to find and far from complete. But still they have data that a record 53.6 million metric tonnes of e-waste – discarded products such as computers and mobile phones – globally in 2019, new ITU report finds.

logo- Urban Mining ! – More important than ever <

The objectives of The Global e-waste Statistics Partnership are to monitor developments of e-waste over time, and to help countries to produce e-waste statistics. 

This includes an E-Waste Map that, at present, shows no e-waste formally collected for 2019, let alone, 2020. But it does for earlier years. If you hover over a country, you will find information for that country. Or you can go to the Country Sheets, that show what data exists for each country, region or continent – 2016 to 2019.

worldwide Urban Mining- Urban Mining ! – More important than ever <
E-Waste Map
E-waste generated is defined as the amount of discarded electrical or electronic products (e-waste) due to consumption within national territory in a given reporting year, prior to any collection, reuse, treatment, or export.
E-waste Formally Collected represents the e-waste collected as e-waste and regulated by environmental protection laws specifically designed for e-waste. This includes e-waste that is collected and later exported, and treated according to national standards in another country.
National Legislation represents whether the country is regulated by national environmental protection laws specifically designed for e-waste.

Infographic: These Countries Generate the Most Electronic Waste | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

They generate electronics and then it goes to Waste. There is a lot more that needs doing to retrieve ALL the value from that Waste.

Humans left behind a record amount of e-waste in 2019

July, 2020 – The Year 2019 set a record for the amount of e-waste ever generated worldwide: 53.6 million metric tons of discarded phones, computers, appliances, and other gadgets. That’s more than the combined weight of all the adults in Europe. It’s also a 21 percent increase since 2014, according to a new international report. …
…They anticipate that the problem will only get worse. The amount of e-waste is expected to almost double from 2014 levels by 2030. That’s a danger to people’s health, according to the report, because the trash can poison people handling it and the surroundings.

“We are at the start of a kind of explosion due to increased electrification we see everywhere,” says Ruediger Kuehr, one of the authors of the report and director of the Sustainable Cycles Programme at the United Nations University. “It starts with toys, if you look at what is happening around Christmas, everything comes with a battery or plug. And it goes on with the mobile phones, with TV sets, and computers,” he says. …

… [for example:] Fifty tons of mercury lies within all of the e-waste that officials have lost track of, and much of that was likely released into the environment, according to the report.

What? 80% NOT collected for recycling? 80% more e-waste from which to extract Critical Minerals!!!!!!!!

Urban Mining- Urban Mining ! – More important than ever <
The situation is not helped by the fact that only 20% of global e-waste is formally recycled. The remaining 80% is often incinerated or dumped in landfill. Many thousands of tonnes also find their way around the world to be pulled apart by hand or burned by the world’s poorest workers. This crude form of urban mining has consequences for people’s wellbeing and creates untold pollution. 2019-The world’s e-waste is a huge problem. It’s also a golden opportunity

20 Staggering E-Waste Facts in 2021
from earth911

[Some of] The following surprising facts about e-waste may help to spur action — both to protect the environment and to stop wasting resources that amount to quite a lot of cash being tossed in landfills each year:
5. The value of the raw materials contained in the e-waste produced in the U.S. during 2019 was $7.49 billion. That’s right. We threw away billions of dollars worth of materials still have use.
6. Recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year, according to the EPA.
7. For every million cell phones that are recycled, it is possible to recover 35,274 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium according to the EPA. For those not familiar with palladium, it’s a precious metal used in making electrical contacts as well as surgical instruments and parts for watches.
8. Recycling circuit boards can be more valuable than mining for ore! One ton of circuit boards is estimated to contain 40 to 800 times more gold than one metric ton of ore. There is 30 to 40 times more copper in a ton of circuit boards than from one metric ton of ore. …

We dissected nearly 100 devices
to study e-waste.
What we found is alarming

We believe solving these challenges requires a proactive approach that treats digital discards as resources, not waste. Gold, silver, palladium, and other valuable materials are now more concentrated in e-waste than in natural ores in the ground.

Urban mining,” in the form of recycling e-waste, could replace the need to dig up scarce metals, reducing environmental damage. It would also reduce U.S. Dependence on 
minerals imported from other countries. …
…Establishing convenientcertified recycling locations can keep more electronics out of landfills. Steps like these can help balance our reliance on electronic devices with systems that better protect human health and the environment.

What is?

Urban Mining

The Work needed
to Supply the Demand

We humans have to find better ways to Capture the Critical Minerals from e-waste!

UNSW’s Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT Centre), has developed the world’s first e-waste micro-factory
That’s the kind of story we want to build around the world!
Dr. Veena Sahajwalla talks about it: The fortune contained in your mobile phone!

1:53 minutes – The fortune contained in your mobile phone

We need lots more people who know what to do!

1:49 minutes – Recycling Commodity Series: Ferrous Metal

Dr. Veena Sahajwalla has invented a way to add Waste Plastic and Waste Rubber Tires to the process of making Steel!

2:42 minutes – Recycling Commodity Series: Nonferrous Metals
1:55 minutes – Recycled Commodities Series: Electronics

logo- Urban Mining ! – More important than ever <

Geomega to Recycle Rare Earths from
USA Rare Earth’s Anticipated Neo Magnet Production in the United States
“With more than 60% of the materials coming out of our Round Top deposit being used in clean tech, green tech and renewable energy applications, we see recycling magnet waste as a natural way to be economically efficient and environmentally responsible,” said Pini Althaus, CEO of USA Rare Earth.  “Geomega’s process to recycle waste and bring it back into our magnet feedstock reconfirms our readiness to innovate at every point in our mine-to-magnets strategy.  It is also part of our strategy to accelerate revenues from our U.S.-based neo magnet production ahead of mine production from the Round Top project.” 

New acid mine drainage treatment
turns waste into valuable critical minerals

acid mine drainage- Urban Mining ! – More important than ever <

A team of Penn State scientists developed a two-stage treatment process that enabled them to recover higher concentrations of rare earth elements (REE) using smaller amounts of chemicals than previously possible, the scientists said. …
…”With a simple modification of existing treatment processes, industry could use less chemicals and get more value out of AMD (acid mine drainage) waste,” said Mohammad Rezaee, assistant professor of mining engineering in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State. “This is the beauty of this research.”

South East of Columbus, Ohio, USA How acid mine drainage has affected southeast Ohio’s waterways

Recycle Battery Parts
Without Crushing or Melting,
Saving Valuable Raw Materials

In comparison to traditional recycling, which typically extracts metals from crushed batteries by melting or dissolving them, in the new process [The Batteries are left in tact!] —by newly saturating the battery’s electrodes with lithium—saves valuable raw materials, and likely also energy. …
… The new method from scientists at Aalto University sidesteps the painstaking traditional battery recycling process: by replenishing the spent lithium in the electrode through an electrolysis process—commonly used in industry—the cobalt compound can go to reuse.
The results, published in ChemSusChem journal, show that the performance of electrodes newly saturated with lithium is almost as good as that of those made of new material.

Recycling e-waste:
alternative to gold mining but not without risks

ground mining- Urban Mining ! – More important than ever <
in the Amazon, in Peru, a deforested area caused by illegal gold mining in the river basin of the Madre de Dios (Credit: Cris Bouroncle/Getty Images)  BBC

September 2020 –
Opportunities in e-waste recycling
The current worldwide supply is around 70% virgin gold and 30% recycled gold. Gold is one of the most sought after of all recycled precious metals due to its intrinsic value. 70% to 90% of recycled gold worldwide originates from jewellery scraps, while 1% to 10% originates from bars, coins, and other high value gold scraps. Approximately 5% to 10% comes from e-waste, but due to the demand for electronics, this stream is vastly expanding, according to the United Nations. The combined volume of gold and other rare metals that is thrown away is increasing exponentially as people upgrade to newer electronic devices. This means that there is a lot of untapped potential here.

Recycling, when done responsibly, also has a far less negative impact on the environment and biodiversity than primary gold mining.

More Urban Mining !
versus Raw Material Mining?

Quo Vadis? Mining, metals and minerals in a circular economy

December 2020 … Since the industrial revolution, our perfectly oiled economy has operated as if raw materials and energy were infinite. But we are reaching the limits of both our finite planet, and business-as-usual. …
…However, the implications for the mining industry are far more profound than just site-level efficiencies. Recycling activity across all metals and mineral commodities is set to exponentially intensify in the coming years. Primary miners will soon face tough competition from recyclers as end use consumers demand to know product content provenance and recycled products become ever more desirable by virtue of their being more ‘green.’
…Research studies in recent years have suggested impressive cost and energy efficiencies. One in 2018 showed raw extraction costs thirteen times as much as e-waste “urban mining”. European Union research indicates that recycling just forty-one mobile phones can yield as much gold as one tonne of 1 g/t ore – there are over 14 billion mobile phones in the world. …
…For some, the future is now. Already, around half the copper demand in Europe is met by recycled material. Already, thirty percent of ArcelorMittal’s steel is made using scrap instead of iron ore. Already, one of the world’s preeminent recyclers, Nucor, has become the largest North American steel supplier. … .
..Already, Apple’s MacBook Air chassis is manufactured from 100% recycled aluminium.

2020 was the year that climate change became a dominant force for commodities as top mining companies and governments made ambitious net-zero commitments, Wood Mackenzie notes in its latest report. …
… James Whiteside, Global Head of Multi-Commodity Research, and Amy Bowe, Head of Carbon Research at Wood Mackenzie see five key biggest emissions trends to watch this year:
• Government climate commitments will increase ahead of COP26
• Technology developments will help reduce emissions from metals extraction and oil and gas production;
• Task force on climate-related financial disclosures (TCFD) reporting will become a requirement for a broader range of companies;
• Commodities will increasingly be marketed on their green credentials; and
• Energy companies will continue to lead the way in divestment and diversification to manage emissions risk.

But we need e-waste recycling everywhere!
It is our warranty of recources for the future!

2:38 minutes – Micro-factories – turning the world’s waste burden into economic opportunities

Huge demand for
Urban Mining businesses!


Waste; Our Assurance of future Resources
– posts on the subject:
Hard-To-Recycle Waste – What Do You Have? What Are You Looking For?
Wasterush Tools! Right To The Point!
Harvesting Waste Ideas. Waste Rushes? NOW!
Mycelium In Industry – Ancient And New
– series of 15 posts on Mycelium in Industry
Industrial Zone – Closed-Loop Networking
Urban Mining ! – More Important Than Ever
Critical Minerals & Rare Elements! ….. COLOSSAL WASTE RUSH

Municiple Waste
Useful Green WASTE Business Ideas That Can Scale To Any Size You Can Use.
Anaerobic Digestion In Full Swing – #1 Waste To Energy?
CNG, LNG, RNG Fuelling Stations – #2 Waste To Energy
#3 Municipal Solid Waste – MSW To BioFuel? Yes!
#1 Leaky Toilets Are Everyones Business!
– series of 7 posts on water,sanitation,toilets

Waste Plastic Upcycle Businesses – Opportunities, Opportunities!
– series of 5+ posts on waste plastic businesses
Jobs! With The Ocean Cleanup INTERCEPTOR™ Business!, +1000+ ECO Jobs!
COVID 19 Waste – Pick It Up Off The Street!

Printing Industry
Eco-Printing & Packaging EQUIPMENT

Thoses posts about wastes that need present action
Too Much Methane !
Wipes – Human Behavior & False Advertising
Job Vacancies In Green Companies < More Now !

Time for Action!
Ask those questions that are on your mind!
That you have been asking yourself!
How to join the Circular Economy and eco-concerns that you might have are the motive for my blog. Tell me what you are looking for.  I will certainly help you look for answers!

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