FEATURE SESSION & PANEL Q&A - Hosted by Innovate UK KTN

Opportunities in critical minerals and rare earth elements for a sustainable future

Time & Location

Thursday 11.00 to 12.30, Stage 2

Session Host

Innovate UK KTN

About this Session

Innovate UK KTN feature sessions at CHEMUK 2023
The transition to a Net Zero and more Circular Economy presents a number of challenges for our sector, but also a number of opportunities. Innovate UK KTN will explore both at CHEMUK23.

  • On Day 1 join us on Stage 2 to learn more about Innovate UKs strategy for innovation funding and opportunities for the chemical sector. Also to hear from organisations who are involved in cutting-edge projects that can help transition the sector to a more resource efficient future.
  • On Day 2, we will focus on opportunities in critical minerals and rare earth elements for a sustainable future. Join us to hear more about Government strategy and funding in this area. This will also be an excellent opportunity to hear from innovative projects and solutions being developed and supported by Innovate UK

Opportunities in critical minerals and rare earth elements for a sustainable future

Part 2 of a 2-day feature ‘Resource Efficiency’ programme from Innovate UK KTN

Session breakdown:

  • 11.00 – 11.05: Session welcome (Dr Sheena Hindocha, Innovate UK KTN)
  • 11.05 – 11.15: CLIMATES programme (Dr Martyn Cherrington, Innovate UK KTN)
  • 11.15 – 11.25: Critical Minerals and the importance of the midstream (Jeff Townsend, Critical Minerals Association)
  • 11.25 – 11.35: How the chemical sector can address issues in critical minerals supply chain (Dr Emma Schofield, Johnson Matthey)
  • 11.35 – 11.45: Opportunities in the rare earth elements value chain (Dr Matthew Reeves)
    Rare earth elements undergo multiple process steps from mine (and end-of-life products) to magnet, including beneficiation, chemical leaching and separation, metallisation and alloying.  Many of these process steps present an innovation opportunity for the chemicals industry to improve material recovery, energy efficiency and environmental footprint.
  • 11.45 – 11.55: Recovery of rare earth metals from spent magnets (Dr Fergal Coleman, Ionic Technologies) An overview of Ionic Technologies journey to date in building a sustainable and secure supply chain for rare earths through the scale-up and commercialisation of a process for the recovery of separated individual rare earth metals from spent permanent magnets.
  • 11.55 – 12.05: The path to alternative high-performance magnets with low dependence on critical elements, (Professor Julie Staunton, University of Warwick)
    The talk will give a brief overview of the criteria a material has to meet on the nanoscale to be a potential high-performance magnet and how, for example, neodymium-iron-boron and samarium-cobalt magnets meet these criteria. This will be followed by a discussion of some potential candidate magnetic materials which have reduced amounts of critical rare earth and transition metal elements.
  • 12.05 – 12.25: Q&A
  • 12.25 – 12.30: Funding Opportunities – investment, KPT, iX (Dr Sheena Hindocha, Innovate UK KTN)

Session Chair:
Sheena Hindocha, Knowledge Transfer Manager for Materials Chemistry – Innovate UK KTN

Dr. Sheena Hindocha

Dr. Sheena Hindocha

Knowledge Transfer Manager for Materials Chemistry - Innovate UK KTN

Jeff Townsend

Jeff Townsend

Founder - Critical Minerals Association

Dr Martyn Cherrington

Dr Martyn Cherrington

Innovation Lead - Innovate UK KTN

Dr Matthew Reeves

Dr Matthew Reeves

Knowledge Transfer Manager - Materials Chemistry and Formulation UK - Innovate UK KTN

Dr Matthew Reeves is a Knowledge Transfer Manager specialising in materials chemistry and formulation at Innovate UK KTN.  He works to identify innovation and collaboration opportunities in the critical minerals area.

Professor Julie Staunton

Professor Julie Staunton

Physics Department - University of Warwick

Julie Staunton is a professor in the Physics Department at the University of Warwick in the U.K. and heads its Theoretical Physics Group. Her own research interests are in magnetic materials modelling and alloy physics and she leads the PRETAMAG  (Physics of Rare Earth -Transition metAl MAGnets) project where a computational model of magnetic properties is being developed and tested by magnetic measurements. She is also the inaugural Director of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Modelling of Heterogeneous Systems (HetSyshttp://www.warwick.ac.uk/hetsys) at Warwick which recruits students from across the physical sciences, mathematics and engineering to develop computational materials modelling skills and tackle a wide range of ‘real world’ materials projects.

Dr Emma Schofield

Dr Emma Schofield

Platinum Group Metals Research Fellow at Johnson Matthey

Emma Schofield is the Platinum Group Metal Research Fellow at the Johnson Matthey Technology Centre, UK. Having spent over a decade researching improvements to PGM recycling technologies, her focus over  the past few years has increasingly been on circular economy of critical metals. She was a Commissioner for the April 2021 UK Policy

Commission on Securing Strategic Elements and Critical Materials, and as a member of the Critical Minerals Expert Group, supports policy development including the UK Government’s July 2022 Critical Minerals Strategy.

Dr Fergal Coleman

Dr Fergal Coleman

Ionic Technologies