Can we get metals out of the ground in a “green” sustainable way?
Speaker: Dr Gawen Jenkins from the University of Leicester
Dr Gawen Jenkin will first examine the ongoing need for mineral resources to underpin a good quality of life for the population of planet Earth. Although we might ultimately develop a “circular economy” this is a long way off and we will need to continue to extract minerals for many years to come. However, the mining industry is under a variety of pressures, both geological and anthropogenic, which make it ever harder to operate economically. At the same time the industry needs to be moving to more sustainable operations, in particular reducing carbon emissions. He will then describe an exciting breakthrough technology developed at the University of Leicester – ionic liquids – that has the potential to revolutionise the processing of mineral ores to metals in a green and environmentally-benign way. The talk is aimed to be accessible for non-specialists.