Category: Raw materials

The inhabitants of Lake Victoria in East Africa are suffering from a plague. The lake threatens to grow despite its size, the oxygen content in the water decreases. A local chemistry teacher wants to prevent that. He makes ethanol from the proliferating plants.

A pair of birds sits surrounded by verdant plants on a lake in Kenya


Water hyacinths threaten to deplete the huge Lake Victoria in East Africa to a stinking pool. The immigrant plant increased extremely strong in recent years. All life underwater (more…)

Gold from smartphones, computers or other electronic devices is difficult. However, like the recycling of other precious metals, it is becoming increasingly important. Finnish researchers have now developed a chemical process that allows gold to recover selectively and quickly.

The photo shows a mountain of smartphones

The newly developed process relies on certain sulfur compounds that can selectively dissolve gold from electronic waste.


The recycling of classic (more…)

A joint venture should secure Germany’s future access to such valuable lithium. But that does not only meet with affection.

Salt mountains pile up on the salt lake in Bolivia.

Where salt is currently being mined, large construction machinery could soon move in to recover lithium.


Lithium is one of the most important raw materials for electromobility and already an extremely popular raw material today. The high-altitude Bolivia is located on one of the largest deposits of (more…)

Rare earths are coveted commodities. Now researchers from Dresden show how the metals can be recovered from electronic waste. For this they use bacteriophages, ie viruses, with a special surface.

The photo shows various types of electronic waste.

Researchers have developed a method that uses rare viruses to “fake” rare earths from electronic waste.


Without rare earths, many key technologies would not be possible. Neodymium is part of permanent magnets for hybrid engines (more…)

Electromobility will only succeed if the reach is increased and the commodity markets can guarantee the production of high-performance batteries. The car industry is already warning of a shortage, but how bad is it to the necessary raw materials? We asked the expert for sustainable resource management, Matthias Buchert from the Öko-Institut.

Matthias Buchert is head of the Resources & Mobility section of the Öko-Institut eV The doctorate in chemistry has been with the Öko-Institut since 1992 , which has established itself as an independent research and advisory institution for the sustainable future. Buchert's research focus is sustainable resource management.

Matthias Buchert is head of the Resources & Mobility section of the Öko-Institut eV The post-doctoral chemist has been with the (more…)

For five years, scientists and entrepreneurs have been examining the potential of the local raw material wood. The findings have paved the way for a number of start-ups and could set a new example in the battle for raw materials.

Deforestation in the rainforest

The use of the domestic resource wood has many advantages. Thus, the massive deforestation of rainforests could be reduced.

Photo: Werner Rudhart / dpa

Wood is an original material that has played a significant role in the (more…)

Sugar has fallen into disrepute in recent years. As a fattening and poison for the body. But now researchers should set out to look for new uses for the raw material: it could already be used as a substitute for crude oil and PET.

Sugar in abundance

Also have political decisions The overproduction of sugar last favors.


For many years, sugar was simply considered a sweetener and fattening agent. But that seems to be over now. In the research (more…)

The Chinese government is serious about extracting natural resources from the seabed. In early 2019, mining in the coastal waters of Papua New Guinea will begin. The first mining ship is currently being built at the Chinese Mawei shipyard. The plans come from the Canadian company Nautilus Minerals Inc. of Toronto.

China will be demolishing rare earths from the seabed in 2019

Submarine robot from British manufacturer SMD: With such excavators China wants to reduce rare earths from 2019 on the seabed from 2019.

Photo: (more…)

Anyone who chooses to dispose of their old smartphone in Japan will make a contribution to the medals of the next 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, because they will be recycling be obtained from cell phones and other electronic devices. This promise was made by the organizers in Tokyo.

The preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have begun: on 24 August 2016, the new flag was hoisted, giving the official starting signal for the preparations. The picture shows Yuriko Koike, the newly elected Governor of Tokyo, and the President of the Japanese Olympic Committee Tsunekazu Takeda.

Preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have begun: on 24 August 2016 hoisted the new flag and thus given the official starting signal for the preparations. The picture shows Yuriko (more…)

Anti-knock additives for fuels from sugar? In Leuna, a plant is starting to produce isobutene from green waste. Normally, the additive is derived from petroleum. In German-French cooperation, a plant was created in which bacteria produce the raw material for fuel additives. Audi wants to test the additive.

Flow tube reactor: The Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes CBP in Leuna is soon to produce biobased additives for gasoline.

Flow tube reactor: The Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes CBP in Leuna will shortly be producing biobased additives for gasoline.