CEA forms joint lab with Singapore’s NTU

Categorie(s) : Events, Life @ MINATEC, Research

Published : 1 October 2018

This summer, the CEA set up its first international joint lab with a university in Singapore. The SCARCE* lab has a total budget of €12.5 million over three years and will focus on the recycling and transformation of electronic waste. INAC, Leti, Liten, ICSM, and IRAMIS are just some of the partners involved in the project.

The SCARCE lab responds to a pressing need. Singapore, which is one of the most densely-populated places on earth with 5.7 million inhabitants in just 720 sq. km, has nowhere to put its electronic waste. The country has set an ambitious target of zero waste by 2030. To succeed, it will need to develop viable industrial-scale recycling and transformation processes.

Around fifteen CEA experts on the job

The CEA began working on the issue of what to do with nuclear waste very early on, and rapidly expanded its research to many other types of industrial waste. The organization has earned recognition as one of the world’s leading centers for expertise in hydrometallurgy. The CEA’s programs encompass sorting, lixiviation, separation, liquid-liquid and liquid-solid extraction, and other processes. SCARCE will benefit directly from the CEA’s know how. Around fifteen CEA experts (from the organization’s DEN, DRT, and DRF divisions) will travel to Singapore to conduct research at the lab. For example, Leti imaging specialists will apply their knowledge to materials recognition for recycling.  The joint lab will be run by Jean-Christophe Gabriel for the CEA; Gabriel has already left to spend one year on site in Singapore. Until recently, Gabriel was the head of the ERC REECYCLE lab, which had been hosted at INAC and was transferred to IRAMIS in August. The lab will focus on four areas: lithium-ion batteries, silicon-based solar panels, printed circuits from consumer electronics, and plastics containing toxic substances like brominated flame retardants.

*Nanyang Technological University
*Singapore-CEA Alliance for Research in Circular Economy

Contact: jean-christophe.gabriel@cea.fr

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