Group pinpoints riches hidden in Europe's mountains of waste

Group pinpoints riches hidden in Europe's mountains of waste
In this Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 file photo, a woman walks by posters adverting smartphones at a mobile phone shop in Seoul, South Korea. Researchers have completed the first survey of valuable materials they say are waiting to be mined from Europe's vast landfills and scrapyards. A group of 17 organizations on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018 launched an online database for 'urban mining' detailing precious raw materials slumbering in discarded batteries, electronics and cars across the continent. Smartphones have concentrations of gold that are more than 25 times as high as the richest underground ores and are far easier to extract. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Researchers have completed the first survey of valuable materials they say are waiting to be mined from Europe's vast landfills and scrapyards.

A of 17 organizations on Wednesday launched an online database for 'urban mining' detailing precious raw materials slumbering in discarded batteries, electronics and cars across the continent.

The project, known by the acronym ProSUM, aims to highlight where billions of euros (dollars) worth of aluminum, copper and could be retrieved each year.

The group, which includes the United Nations University, said vehicles are an increasingly rich source of raw materials including lithium—from electric cars—steel and magnesium.

Smartphones, meanwhile, have concentrations of gold that are more than 25 times as high as the richest underground ores and are far easier to extract.


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Citation: Group pinpoints riches hidden in Europe's mountains of waste (2018, January 17) retrieved 11 July 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-group-riches-hidden-europe-mountains.html
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