Project: Siderophores assisted Biorecovery of Technology Critical Elements: Gallium (Ga), germanium (Ge) and indium (In) from end-of-life products

Acronym Siderec (Reference Number: ERA-MIN-2018_51)
Project Topic High techs such as communications, renewable energies, displays are heavily dependent on metals such as germanium (Ge), indium (In) and gallium (Ga). These metals are used in photovoltaics, fiber optics, liquid crystal displays – among others. The supply of these metals is essential for the continuous supply of high-tech devices. However, due to the export control and hoarding, the supply of these metals to the high-tech industry of Europe is not assured and hence, European Commission has listed these metals supply as critical. Recycling of these metals from their end-of-life (EOL) products is a way to overcome the shortage of these metals. However, there are no technologies available for recycling of these metals due to their low concentrations and presence of large number of contaminants. A highly selective and sensitive solvent, ligand or reaction is needed to recover these metals. Siderophores has been shown to bind selectively bind to Ga, In and Ge even when these metals are present in very low concentrations. Thus, exploiting of siderophores for these metals’ recovery can be very interesting. However, no work has been carried out to recovery these metals from their EOL products using siderophores. There are two main challenges in the recovery of metals from their EOL products using siderophores. The challenges are 1) Right selection and production of siderophores, 2) Access of siderophores to the target metals in EOL products. Upon successful leaching of target metals and siderophore complexes, the decomplexation, and recovery of metals and siderophores will be carried out as by implementing the GaLIophore technology. This project aims to develop ambitious and highly innovative technology for the recovery of these critical elements. This project will fill the technology gap where no technology exists. This project will help in improving EU competitiveness in resource recovery and recycling.
Network ERA-MIN 2
Call ERA-MIN Joint Call 2018

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris Coordinator France
2 Universidad Catolica del Norte Partner Chile
3 Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf Partner Germany
4 ASA Spezialenzyme GmbH Partner Germany