R²RM - Precious raw materials

A new method recovers precious materials such as niobium or tantalum for high-tech applications. This reduces Austria’s dependency on raw materials.

Short Description

The Plansee Group produces metal powder, semi-finished products, ready-to-use components and tools made from ther mally, mechanically, and chemically robust, high-tech materials for a variety of industries.

Besides molybdenum and tungsten, the company also processes tantalum, niobium and rhenium, materials hard to replace in consumer electronics, medical and energy engineering or aviation.

Like new, thanks to thermal processing

The R²RM project targets recovering valuable substances that occur as a by-product of manufacturing. To recycle molybdenum-tantalum - used as a coating material for the electronic display industry - the project partners have opted for thermal processing.

Under specific pressure and temperature conditions, molybdenum changes to a gaseous state that can be recovered as a molybdenum oxide and then refined into pure molybdenum powder. In the same way, tantalum oxide is refined into tantalum power.

Both can subsequently be used like new. Closed loop recycling such as this helps countries with limited natural resources, like Austria, become more independent; it also helps offset price fluctuations in the commodities market and secure supply for key customers in high-tech industries.

In a next step, further successful process innovations could form the basis for efficiently recycling end-of-life products.

Project Partners

Consortium Manager

Plansee SE

Other Consortium Partners

  • Montanuniversitaet Leoben – Chair for
  • Non-Ferrous Metallurgy

Contact Address

Project Coordinator

Karl Huber
E-mail: karl.huber@plansee.com