Our vision is to carry out research that will ensure a sustainable and secure supply of Earth resources to society, whilst minimising the environmental footprint and maximising socio-economic benefit.
While global population and per-capita consumption continue to grow, a true circular economy remains a future ambition. As a result, one of the 21st century’s great challenges is meeting society’s needs for a greater quantity and diversity of raw materials, whilst minimising environmental impacts and maximising social and economic benefits. Globally, many green technologies rely on metals whose cost, rarity, or strategic availability are imminently limiting (e.g. battery storage, dependent on a supply of Ni, Li and Co; solar power systems, requiring Te, Se and In; and electric vehicles, needing Cu, rare earth elements, Al, and Ni). Failure to source these metals sustainably will stifle innovation and may make essential technologies prohibitively expensive or practically unavailable.
Meeting resource challenges in a societally and environmentally sustainable way requires a holistic approach to research and innovation from geoscientists, chemists, engineers, environmental scientists and sociologists. CSRE focuses on these critical resource challenges to deliver vital solutions to the security of supply of metals for the 21st century.
CSRE works across integrated themes that extend from developing new paradigms for metal concentration in the crust for more efficient exploration, in particular for the little studied tech metals; through processes for environmentally-benign extraction of those metals; to understanding the environmental and societal impacts of resource extraction, enabling us to optimise benefits to all stakeholders.
Download the University of Leicester Applied Research Brochure (4.12MB pdf)