World Oceans Day, celebrated on 8 June, is a reminder of the importance that oceans hold in our lives. Oceans play a vital role in supporting life on our planet, not only by providing essential nourishment and medicinal resources but also by being an indispensable component of Earth’s biosphere. The main purpose of this day is to educate about the impact of human activities on the ocean and encourage citizens to take action in its protection.
EU-funded research and innovation projects managed by HaDEA are adopting a clean, sustainable, and circular approach, paving the way for a transformative and circular industry. Some of these projects are developing novel technologies for recovering minerals from seawater, extracting valuable raw materials while improving the efficiency of freshwater recovery.
SEArcularMINE is prototyping an integrated process that recovers energy and critical raw materials (e.g., magnesium, lithium, rubidium) from waste brines in Mediterranean saltworks. It is targeting low energy consumption, and innovative and sustainable technology that generates electricity from seawater salinity gradients. This can contribute to the EU’s access to critical raw materials, supporting a low-carbon economy and offering an environmentally friendly alternative to current extraction methods.
SEA4VALUE is developing technologies for recovering minerals and metals from seawater desalination brines, making desalination plants a valuable source of raw materials. The project is developing an economically viable modular and multimineral process that uses advanced separation technologies and is designed for multi-element recovery. This could enhance supply security, reduce dependency on imported raw materials and introduce environmentally friendly technologies with minimal ecological impact.
TRIDENT aims to develop an advanced monitoring and inspection system to assess the environmental impact of deep-sea exploration and exploitation activities. This system is expected to operate autonomously in remote and harsh conditions, providing real-time data to authorities. It can enable efficient data handling and can provide solutions for forecasting potential environmental impacts while ensuring responsible resource extraction. TRIDENT seeks to facilitate sustainable seabed mineral exploitation through a transparent, cost-effective and reliable monitoring system.
Source: European Commission | European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA) (https://rb.gy/zkfk1)