Sabbatical Bench Fee Jo Dewulf

01 April 2023 → 30 September 2023
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Environmental management
    • Natural resource management
    • Environmental science and management not elsewhere classified
  • Engineering and technology
    • Materials processing
    • Materials recycling and valorisation
Resources Resource management Sustainability assessment environmental impact and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
Project description

The global climate change challenge has initiated an energy transition where new energy sourcing, storage and final use technologies have to be employed, e.g. photovoltaic and wind energy production, storage in stationary batteries and final use in e-mobility. All these emerging technologies require specific raw materials, e.g. rare earth elements in wind energy technology, and lithium and cobalt in battery technology.

 For a proper management of materials in light of the energy transition, we should maximize the benefits and minimize the burdens associated with the employment of the needed materials through resource efficiency. Another key challenge in proper resource management to address climate change is the huge increase in employment of materials posing severe challenges in modeling future scenarios.

The general objective of the sabbatical is to contribute to the development of proper circular materials management to support a sustainable energy transition for climate change mitigation, with 5 scientific objectives: 1. Advancing the resource efficiency concept in light of a materials-based renewable energy harvesting and storage;2. Advancing and detailing the “handprint’ that materials offer when deployed in harvesting and storing renewable energy; 3. Advancing and detailing the “resource footprint” by elaboration of footprint contributions along the materials value chain (extraction, refining, manufacturing, use, end-of-life);4. Advancing the resource efficiency concept for use of materials in the energy transition by incorporating the changing and increasing materials demand, strenghtening the prospective capabilities in existing materials management tools;5. Demonstrate and operationalize the abovementioned conceptual developments with case studies and projects that are running at BRGM. The scientific objectives should lead to (1) scientific papers, communicating the conceptual developments and the operationalization with case studies; (2) Developing joint research initiatives, e.g. PhD tracks etc., beyond the stay at BRGM.