Project Description

What is the CHemPGM project?

The CHemPGM project aspires to provide a deep insight into the chemistry and mechanisms associated with the exploitation of Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) from secondary materials with the ultimate goal to improve and secure the PGMs value chain.

The project aims also to promote knowledge exchange utilizing the full knowledge triangle – universities/ institutions/ RTOs/SMEs in the fields of chemistry, material science, engineering, mineral processing and metallurgy and enable secondments between the organizations for maximal knowledge generation and exchange.

Goals and Objectives

The CHemPGM project focuses on upgrading existing processes and developing new ones, aligned with sustainable principles, to ensure a circular operation model for the relevant industries.

The main objectives of the project are:

  • To conduct research towards the establishment of fundamental knowledge regarding the chemistry of the PGMs, their physicochemical reactions/interactions with other metals and compounds and the corresponding reactivities during leaching, separation and recovery processes;

  • To gain an understanding of the mechanisms during the utilization of secondary materials to extract PGMs and their incorporation into new materials and processes such as nanomaterials, catalysis and CO2 capture;

  • To create knowledge and provide expertise, high-quality education training and lifelong learning for the academic public and professionals regarding the chemistry of PGMs.

Methodological Approach

To reach the overall goals, original and innovative methodologies will be exploited, such as:

  • advanced characterization and leaching of PGMs from different materials; the PGM sources will be mainly secondary materials from the automotive industry and residues from the mineral and metallurgical industries (such as tailings, slags and wastewaters)

  • separation and recovery of PGMs in mixed-metal or pure form

  • incorporation of PGMs in different applications,

  • process evaluation, policy-making and standardization.


The main challenges concerning Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) and the European Union (EU) can be summarized as follows.

  • Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) are noble metals: Pt, Pd, Rh, Os, and Ir. In many rapid high-tech applications, PGMs are critical components in technologies that are crucial to Europe’s sustainability.

  • PGMs have been defined since 2011 by the EU commission as “critical” raw materials (CRMs) due to the high risk of supply shortage; there is an extremely serious gap between supply and demand.

  • PGMs (total or partial) substitution and recycling are essential for global economic sustainability.

  • New research and development activities are required to improve the fundamental understanding of new material solutions containing reduced PGM content or recycled PGMs while maintaining or enhancing the performance of the materials, components and products.