Audi promotes micro-invasive mining: sustainable extraction + high technology
The Audi Foundation for the Environment has joined forces with the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology in Germany to investigate new ways of extracting metals that are indispensable for modern technologies such as fiber optics, photovoltaics and semiconductors. Membrane technology is used to extract raw materials from the subsoil in an ecological and sustainable way.
The goal is to extract high-tech raw materials from minerals without destroying the natural environment with large-scale drilling and blasting. Unlike conventional mineral extraction, micro-invasive methods are used here, similar to modern surgical practices. This has several advantages: no heavy machinery is used, and much less energy and chemicals are required, so the environment is not harmed either. “The process is innovative and respectful of the environment, since large mining activities are largely avoided and even small amounts of ore can be extracted,” explains Alexandra Bonnemaison, General Manager of Audi Peru.
The objective of this process is to separate and enrich indium and germanium from a multi-component mixture. These two strategic metals are necessary for the manufacture of a series of state-of-the-art products such as flat screens, touch screens, navigation systems, fiber optic technology, computer chips, photovoltaic systems and car bearings.
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