INSPIRE: In situ processes in resource extraction from waste repositories
Full project title: INSPIRE: In situ processes in resource extraction from waste repositories
Duration: 1 September 2014-31 March 2019
- Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
- Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Project Leader for SPE: Dr Danielle Sinnett
Other UWE Bristol researchers:
- University of Cardiff (lead)
- University of Warwick
Societies have historically disposed of vast quantities of industrial, municipal, metallurgical and mining waste into the ground. Generally considered as a legacy waste issue, this research project seeks to reconsider waste repositories as “resource hubs” for future recovery of valuable materials and energy.
The research project sought to explore whether energy, valuable elements, and elements used in clean energy and other environmental applications can be recovered by leaching and other treatments whilst the material lies in situ. Not only would this reduce the need for conventional mining of valuable ores, it would avoid the need to actively excavate the waste, thereby potentially minimising ecological and environmental impacts.
In situ leaching could potentially sidestep many problems involved in extraction of materials and energy from waste repositories, and this could have important consequences not only in the UK but around the world. The processes investigated are anticipated to have substantially lower environmental and human health impacts in comparison to retrieval of resources by 'conventional' dig-and-process mining of the same wastes.
Researchers in the Centre for Sustainable Environments and Planning are examining the environmental, human and ecological impacts of the technology. We are also working with the Science Communication Unit to explore their acceptability to residents and other stakeholders.
- Žibret, G., Lemiere, B., Mendez, A., Cormio, C., Sinnett, D., Cleall, P., Peter; Szabó, K., Carvalho, M. T. (2020). National mineral waste databases as an information source for assessing material recovery potential from mine waste, tailings and metallurgical waste. Minerals, 10(5).
- Sinnett, D. E., and Sardo, A. M. (2020). Former metal mining landscapes in England and Wales: Five perspectives from local residents. Landscape and Urban Planning, 193.
- Sardo, A. M., and Sinnett, D. (2020). Evaluation of the Q Method as a public engagement tool in examining the preferences of residents in metal mining areas. Frontiers in Communication, 5(55).
- Sinnett, D., Sapsford, D., and Crane, R. (2019). An exploration of key concepts in application of in situ processes for recovery of resources from high-volume industrial and mine wastes. In L. E. Macaskie, D. J. Sapsford, & W. M. Mayes (Eds.), Resource Recovery from Wastes: Towards a Circular Economy, (141 - 167). Royal Society of Chemistry.
- Sinnett, D. (2019). Going to waste? The potential impacts on nature conservation and cultural heritage from resource recovery on former mineral extraction sites in England and Wales. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 62(7), 1227-1248.
- Sinnett, D and Williams, K (2014) The cultural ecosystem services of waste repositories. In: UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, 9-11th September 2014. Repository ID: 2584.
- Crane, R, Sinnett, D, Cleall, P and Sapsford, D (2017) Physicochemical composition of wastes and co-located environmental designations at legacy mine sites in south west England and Wales: Implications for their resource potential. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 123. pp 117-134. ISSN 0921-3449
- Sinnett, D (2017) Mining landscapes as a cultural and environmental resource. In: UK/Ireland Planning Research Conference, Queen's University, Belfast, 11-13 September 2017.