"Environment" research area

Recycling and Reuse of Critical Minerals & Metals

Event Date: 
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 1:00pm

recycled metalsCritical minerals and especially precious metals like platinum group elements are used in a multitude of consumer and industrial products - some more visible (e.g., batteries, electronics) than others (e.g., catalytic converters, computer memory). Extracting these raw minerals and metals from subsurface deposits has become more costly as the demand has grown and the reserves have decreased. This has only been exacerbated by COVID, as supply chains have been stressed. Henceforth, rising costs for certain raw materials has put into play other, more circular, recovery/recycling/reuse options that previously may not have been economically viable.

Continued mining of these raw resources, both regionally and globally, also poses a variety of environmental contamination issues that impact water quality, soil health, and ecosystem stability. Innovative remediation solutions are being developed, but is the pace of change to more regenerative models fast enough? This Listening Session will explore the space of “critical minerals and precious metals recovery and reuse” by hearing from industry experts and UMN researchers actively working on innovative technology and remediation solutions. We welcome participants from organizations and institutions working in the critical minerals and precious metals recycling and reuse space.



1:00 - Welcome

1:05 - MnDRIVE Environment Overview

1:10 - Industry Speakers

Shashi Rao

Shashi Rao
, Research Scientist, NRRI @ UMN-Duluth
"Opportunities for material recycling from E-waste"

Tim Johnston

Tim Johnston, Co-Founder, Li-Cycle
"Recycling of Critical Battery Materials"


John Brockgreitens, Director of Research & Development, Claros Technologies
"Nanocomposite Sorbent Technology for Metals Removal and Sequestration"


Travis Hanson, P.E., Kurita America
"Removing Metals from Industrial Wastewater"

2:05 - Q&A

2:10 - Lightning Talks


Nate Johnson
, Associate Professor (UMN-Duluth)

"Bio-based Capture of Sulfide"

brandy stewart

Brandy Stewart
, Postdoctoral Researcher (UMN)

"Using Peat to Remove Chromium from Stormwater"

2:30 - Small Breakout Discussion Groups

    • Battery & e-waste recycling
    • Filtering metals from wastewater
    • Microbes and metals for remediation

2:50 - Wrap Up