Department of Chemistry and Robert Bosch Foundation promote student project on rare earth recycling

Mar 25, 2019

In the cooperation project "Our Common Future" between the Department of Chemistry of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich and the Feodor-Lynen-Gymnasium Planegg, students of the 11th grade of the Feodor-Lynen-Gymnasium Planegg examine under the professional guidance of Prof. Lena Daumann and of the Fachdidaktik Chemie, Prof. Stefan Schwarzer, how rare earths can be recovered from everyday objects and recycled in an environmentally friendly way.

For many everyday objects, such as Smartphones or hard drives, special rare earth metals are needed. But their degradation pollutes the environment and the metals are difficult to access. As part of a seminar, novel and classic recycling methods are tested for their utility and applicability in the laboratory and compared with each other. Finally, the young people present their research results in a self-designed exhibition. In the photo blog of the working group of Prof. Daumann one can find information about the progress of the work.

The project is funded with 30,000 € by the Robert Bosch Foundation and ends in June 2020. With the funding program "Our Common Future - Pupils, teachers, scientists researching for the world of tomorrow" the Robert Bosch Foundation supports shared research projects on sustainability from teachers and scientists with a total of over 1, 4 million €. In the projects, pupils and their teachers work with scientists on an interdisciplinary research topic that provides answers to everyday topics such as mobility, nutrition and environment.

Further information can be found at