What is FineFuture
FineFuture is an EU funded project aiming at creating new scientific knowledge to enable the development of groundbreaking technologies to exploit the fine particle fractions. Separating very fine particles is important for the valorization of multiple mineral resources (e.g. nickel, kaolin, feldspar, talc and magnesite) and will help securing both global sales by European companies and the production of Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) within Europe. CRMs combine raw materials of high importance to the EU economy and of high risk associated with their supply. Shortage in supply of CRMs would hinder economic growth in rapidly developing industrial areas such as for example energy storage systems and industrial robotics.
An urgent response to these challenges is needed and FineFuture aims indeed in this direction. FineFuture’s new developed technologies recovering fine particle systems would not be restricted to a special deposit class but the research will pave the way towards applicability for all classified CRMs. The FineFuture network is convinced from their experience, expertise and stakeholder knowledge that hetero-coagulation separation technologies, in particular froth flotation, will remain the key technologies for mineral particle processing. Yet, flotation needs to be entirely re-engineered for the separation of very fine particles of the aforementioned resources at large scale through cutting-edge technological investigations guided by industrial partners. Unique aspects of the research work are a parallel dialog with the wider public and professional stakeholders not only to inform but also to receive feedback for a better applicability and societal trust.
The expected results will lead to drastically reduced loss of resources, the utilization of new resources and more competitiveness through much higher energy efficiencies.