SINTEF and NTNU are central in supporting the Norwegian metal producing industry with new technological developments towards more efficient production as well as recycling of end of life products, including achievements towards higher yields and lower processing costs. In the transition to production and recycling with lower environmental footprint, manifested in less emissions and waste as well as more efficient use of input factors as energy and materials, new and reliable scientific input are key success factors. SINTEF and NTNU are also actively involved in many EU projects related to critical raw materials, circular and sustainable processes for metal production and recycling. The research infrastructure is essential for SINTEF and NTNU to deliver on challenges towards zero emission processes. Both SINTEF and NTNU are dedicated to support industrial actors and make the infrastructure accessible to external partners.
A sustainable metal production is strategically important for Norway as a large producer of metal products to the international market (close to 20 % of the mainland export). To achieve optimised and integrated processing methodology through the whole value chain in metal production and metal circularity, the infrastructure focuses on laboratory equipment necessary in the three main, interconnected areas important in metal production:
1. Pyrometallurgical processing, covering equipment necessary to develop new and more environmentally friendly and zero emissions solutions, phasing out fossil-based reduction materials, increased raw material utilisation, and recovery from secondary raw materials.
2. Hydrometallurgical processing, covering equipment necessary for the extraction and separation of components in both primary ores as well as secondary sources with a special focus on recycling complex end of life compounds and metals.
3. Electrometallurgical processing, covering equipment suited both for aqueous and molten salt and oxide electrolysis as well as supporting developments within cell and electrode materials.