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Project title: Development of Environmentally Sound Recycling Technology
aaaaaaaaaaaa for Precious Metals and Rare Metals
  Name  : Toru H. Okabe

1. Background of research

Precious metals and rare metals are an essential requirement for modern industries of high-tech, energy-saving, and green technologies. Our country has supplied high-tech, energy-saving products with excellent performance to consumers across the world. However, our country does not have any efficient mineral resources of rare metals. In many cases, most of the mineral resources of rare metals are localized to certain countries. For example, platinum-group metals (PGMs) are one of the precious elements and their mineral resources are highly localized in South Africa and Russia. Therefore, continual and stable securing of rare metals is crucial, from the viewpoint of the competitiveness of our industries and continual economic growth.

2. Research objectives

In this project, new environmentally sound technologies for recycling precious metals and rare metals will be developed. Furthermore, the project is aimed at the advancement of material sciences through the cyclical use of these metals. Human resources to support the field of process engineering of rare metals in the future will be trained and developed. A world-leading, state-of-the-art research site for rare metals will be constructed.

3. Research characteristics (incl. originality and creativity)

This research project is focused on the development of new recycling technologies not only for recovery of precious metals and rare metals from waste but also for effective utilization of harmful waste that needs expensive treatment to make it harmless. New environmentally sound process technologies for extracting and reusing rare metals from waste will be developed. Green innovation will be promoted through the recycling of rare metals.

4. Anticipated effects and future applications of research

This project will result in the advancement of process engineering of rare metals, which is one of the foremost research fields in the world today, and the emergence of the world’s first nation oriented to advanced resource recycling technology.