SEC Lecture

Presentation: Christoph Helbig

Moderation: Dominik Wiedenhofer


Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) are materials with high supply risks and high vulnerability to supply restrictions. Demand for CRMs is expected to grow drastically over the next decades because they are essential for clean and renewable energy, digitalization, and defense. Therefore, large efforts worldwide in politics and industry are undertaken to secure the increasing demand for CRMs, such as the European Critical Raw Materials Act. Increased production rates bear the risk of additional environmental impacts contributing to the triple planetary crisis: climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. These environmental impacts can be mitigated partially if the demand is fulfilled with anthropogenic resources. However, CRMs have low circularity rates and high loss rates in the economy. The average lifetime of 30 metals in the periodic table is 10 years or even shorter because products, waste management, and recycling systems are not optimized for keeping Critical Raw Materials in the loop. To change this, we need a vision for a circularity and sustainability transition that includes all aspects of the Circular Economy: low-carbon production technologies, resource-light business models, effective regulations supporting circularity, and selective and efficient recycling processes.

Christoph Helbig is an Industrial Ecologist studying the impacts of global material cycles of metals. He studied physics at the University of Augsburg, Germany. In his PhD in industrial engineering (University of Augsburg, Germany, 2018), he assessed the supply risks and dissipative losses of 18 metals in the global economy. In 2019, he was a visiting researcher at Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, before returning to Augsburg for a Postdoc. Since 2022, he has been a Professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Bayreuth, Germany. His research group on Ecological Resource Technology focuses on Material Flow Analysis, Life Cycle Assessment, and Raw Material Criticality Assessment.

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Start: 11.06.2024, 18:00
Ende: 11.06.2024, 19:30




Universität für Bodenkultur Wien | Standort Schottenfeldgasse
Schottenfeldgasse 29/3
1070 Wien
or participation via Zoom:
SR 3a

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