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Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling (CR3)

Colorado School of Mines

KU Leuven

The University of Tokyo

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Last Reviewed: 01/13/2020

It is the goal of the Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling I/UCRC to be the premiere industry-university alliance dedicated to the sustainable stewardship of our Earth's resources.  We will serve consortium members needs by establishing the needed knowledge base, and by educating future leaders of the industry.  Technologies will be developed and transferred to industry with the goal of achieving materials sustainability from initial product design through manufacture to end-of-life disposition in a manner that yields both energy savings and profitability.

Center Mission and Rationale

The CR3 mission is to collaborate with industry to:

  • explore and develop generic basic recovery and recycling science, engineering and education;
  • develop technologies to identify and separate valuable materials from waste streams;
  • build strategies and technologies to enable greater use of process effluents within materials process systems; and
  • establish materials recovery and recycling curricula along with university research experience that will grow an engineering workforce equipped to address the challenge of achieving cost effective and profitable materials sustainability.


To read more about CR3, please visit

Research program

1. Current Research

The following CR3 research projects are currently on-going.  For more information regarding these projects, please visit the CR3 website at

  • Alternative Fluxes for Lead Bullion Refining (NEW 2020)
  • Copper Separation from Steel
  • Electro-Oxidation of Metals & Inorganics in Metallurgical Operations
  • Moisture Analysis of Heterogeneous Solid Material Flows
  • Near Real Time Sub-ppm Detection of Elements in Pure Metals/Alloys
  • Optimization of Concrete Mixtures for 3D Printing
  • Optimized Sorting and Separation Technologies for Remanufacturing with Product Centric Recycled/Reclaimed Scrap
  • Paint Sludge

2. Completed Research

The following CR3 research projects have been completed.  For more information regarding these projects, please visit the CR3 website at


  • Online Slag and Bullion Analysis by LIBS
  • Vacuum Distillation of Complex Lead Bullion


  • Auto-Al Scrap Material Flow Analysis with Compositional Projections
  • Innovative Refining Technologies for Sb Recovery
  • Pretreatment Processes of Waste Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)
  • Recovery of Valuable Metals from Flue Dust and Other Fines from Mechanical Treatment of e-Scrap
  • Waste Water Treatment Sludge & High Value Grinding Swarf Recycling


  • Hydrometallurgical Treatment of e-Scrap
  • Recovery of Rare Earth Metals from Bauxite Residue
  • Reuse Opportunities for Bauxite Residue


  • Battery Design for Disassembly in Support of Materials Reuse
  • Recovery of Valuable Metals from Fines
  • Value Recovery from Mining Wastes


  • Magnet Separation Technologies for Recycling
  • Recovery of Zinc and Iron from EAF Dusts
  • Synthesis of Inorganic Polymers from Metallurgical Residues


  • Dezincing of Galvanized Steel
  • Fundamental Study of Lithium Ion Battery Recovery
  • Novel Recycling Process for Li-Ion Batteries


  • Accurate and Precise Optoelectronic Measurements of Molten Metal Chemistry
  • Beneficiation of Flat Panel Functional Coatings
  • Conditioning of Machined Chips
  • Metal Recovery via Automated Sortation
  • Recovery of Eu/y from Phospher Dust
  • Recovery of Rare Earth Metals from Phosphor Dust
  • Recovery of Value-Added Products from Red Mud
  • Recycling of Rare Earth Magnets
  • Resource Recovery and Recycling from Shredder Residue in North America


  • Development of Aluminum-Dross Based Materials for Engineering Applications: Reduce land filling and energy usage to recover Aluminum
  • Physical and Chemical Beneficiation of Photovoltaic Materials
  • Recycling of Bag-House Dust from Foundry Sand through Chemical and Physical Beneficiation

Facilities and Laboratory

The Metal Processing Institute (MPI) at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has access to a full complement of materials engineering and processing facilities including x-ray fluorescence, melting and casting laboratories, imaging and sensing, and thermal processing.

The Kroll Institute for Extractive Metallurgy (KIEM) at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) has a full complement of equipment in characterization, mineral processing, and pyro/hydro/elctrometallurgy. In addition, KIEM has access to all of the other materials processing laboratories available in the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.

KU Leuven:
The Department of Materials Engineering at KU Leuven has access to a full complement of materials engineering equipment and laboratories. In addition, CR3 has access to other KU Keuven infrastructure at several of the university academic departments including:

  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Department of Civil Engineering
  • Department of Geology and Earth Sciences


The University of Tokyo:
The Laboratory of Processing and Separation of Resources (LPSR-UTokyo), Department of Systems Innovation at the University of Tokyo has a full complement of equipment in characterization and chemical analysis, materials/minerals processing, and hydrometallurgy. In addition, LPSR-UTokyo has access to all of the other materials engineering equipment and laboratories available in the Faculty of Engineering at The University of Toyko.


A complete inventory of lab equipment at each CR3 university site is available at


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Metal Processing Institute
100 Institute Road

Worcester, Massachusetts, 01609

United States

Colorado School of Mines

Kroll Institute of Extractive Metallurgy
1500 Illinois Street

Golden, Colorado, 80401

United States

KU Leuven

Dept. of Materials Engineering
Kasteelpark Arenberg 44 - Box 2450

Leuven, , 3001


The University of Tokyo

Graduate School of Engineering Dept. of Systems Innovation
7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku

Tokyo, Tokyo, 113-8656