Research on the circular economy is strengthening at the University of Oulu


Three projects at the University of Oulu have received a positive funding decision from the Academy of Finland's Critical Raw Materials in Urban Circular Economy research program. The projects study the critical raw materials for e-mobility, the utilization of waste incineration ashes as a secondary raw material and aim to create a sustainable ecosystem for the utilization of magnesium.

The University of Oulu, the University of Eastern Finland and Aalto University, as well as VTT's GoverMat project, are looking for solutions to the circular economy of raw materials that are critical for e-mobility. The project investigates, for example, the promotion of the reuse and recycling of metals and material solutions that replace critical raw materials. The project focuses in particular on batteries and battery materials, electronic components and high-performance magnets. In addition, it examined the circular economy of critical raw materials at the system level. The project provides new information on interaction relationships, material flow properties and potential development costs, as well as process concepts according to the circular economy.

"The forthcoming GoverMat research project will further strengthen the role of the University of Oulu in battery chemistry research and research related to the inorganic circular economy as part of the InStreams Hub," says Ulla Lassi, a leading researcher at the University of Oulu.

Another project that received a positive funding decision is the MAGNEX project of the Universities of Oulu and Tampere and Abo Akademi University. It aims to enable the production of critical magnesium from local and inexhaustible raw materials: industrial by-products and magnesium silicate minerals. The main goal is to enable a large-scale circular economy chain, in which, in addition to pure magnesium, the main products are the utilization of industrial by-products and carbon-negative building materials. Other precious metals are also produced as a by-product of the process and up to millions of tons of carbon dioxide are sequestered each year. The ecosystem enables both new products and business models. The project will also explore socio-economic and regulatory needs, the response to which would strengthen the circular economy of magnesium in cities.

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