Materials for Sustainable Environmental Technologies

Module Title - Materials for Sustainable Environmental Technologies 
Number of credits – 10

Module description

This module is designed to introduce the topic of critical materials and the wider issues surrounding the circular economy with regard to clean energy technologies. As the world population grows there is an ever increasing demand for natural resources, including key elements which are used in clean energy technologies.

This module will cover a selection of the materials which are deemed to be at greatest potential supply risk by the EU, US and Japan, including for example rare earths, lithium and platinum group metals. Information will be given on the applications for each material, the supply risk and options for increasing the primary and secondary supplies.

You will be given a topic during the course which they will research, write a detailed report, and give an oral presentation upon.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to understand the definition of a critical material. You should be able to articulate the main reasons why certain materials have become critical, including for example, shortage of primary resources, economics of supply, geopolitical reasons and difficulties for recycling.

You should be able to name several critical materials and to suggest methods by which these shortfalls can be alleviated. Ultimately you should be able to describe the primary and secondary supply chains for several critical materials outlined in the module.