Masan High-Tech Materials develops new technology to recycle cobalt
|The representative of the Social Democratic Party of Germany visits H.C. Starck Tungsten Powders.|
H.C. Starck Tungsten Powders – one of the subsidiaries of Masan High-Tech Materials is researching a new process for recycling cobalt from scrap metal at its site in Goslar, Germany.
H.C. Starck Tungsten Powders plans to invest approx. EUR 3 million into the research and development of the new process, with which Cobalt, which is classified as a critical raw material, can be extracted from scrap metal. Not bad, if federal and state politics could help with funding and legal relief for work processes. On August 22, Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) was extremely impressed by the project developed by the Company.
At the invitation of the SPD Federal Parliament Candidate Frauke Heiligenstadt and the two State Parliament Members Petra Emmerich-Kopatsch and Dr. Alexander Saipa, the Peiner politician made the short trip to Goslar. While Heiligenstadt - currently still in the state parliament - diligently collected information on how an anticipated subsidy of EUR 800,000 could be achieved from state funds, Heil in his mind already saw a value chain anchored in the region, if both urgently needed and rare metals could be recovered from disused lithium-ion batteries in an electric car fleet manufactured not only in and from Wolfsburg.
Head of research Julia Meese-Marktscheffel led the political guests through an impressive first hydrometallurgical pilot plant, in which individual process steps are tested - including the use of artificial intelligence when taking samples in the production process. The mass is melted with the help of salts at more than 1,000 degrees celsius, in a furnace fitted with heavy equipment. H.C. Starck Tungsten Powders intends to have a pilot process available in about 18 months. Subsequently, the transfer to an industrial scale is planned. According to Mr. Seyeda - H.C. Starck CEO, it is ultimately about needed investment, it is in the low to double-digit million euro. It would be helpful for HCS Tungsten if exceptions for recycling companies could be added to the recently approved German Supply Chain Act. In other words, secondary raw materials should be exempted from the duty of care, as they have returned to the supply chain the second time and have already been tested.
The EU classes cobalt as a critical raw material. Next to the role as a flexible base material, bonding hard alloys, Cobalt is also used in Lithium-ion and LiPo batteries, which means that it plays an important role in the future topic of electromobility. The most important source country for the primary raw material is the Democratic Republic of Congo, responsible for around 65 percent of cobalt mined worldwide.
“Our focus is on research and development of advanced and strategic mineral materials and working with global leading innovation businesses to provide stable and long-term supply solutions to minimize risks in their supply chain. Our market position is mainly based on innovation capability and high expertise in technology.” said Mr. Craig Bradshaw, General Director of Masan High-Tech Materials.
H.C. Starck Tungsten Powders is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality tungsten powder tailored to individual customer needs. The company combines a century of experience in tungsten processing with high innovative power and technological expertise. Decades of experience in recycling and access to the world’s largest tungsten reserves outside of China, owned by the company’s parent group Masan High-Tech Materials, ensure the company’s stability in supply of conflict-free raw materials. H.C. Starck Tungsten Powders employs around 540 people at three production sites in Germany, Canada and China plus sales offices in the U.S. and Japan. The company is headquartered in Goslar, Germany where its largest production site is slocated.