THE INTERDISCIPLINARY CENTRE FOR CIRCULAR METALS

A new research centre aimed at helping the UK become the first country to fully recycle and reuse its metals is to be led by Brunel University London, with partners University of Warwick and University College London.

About the Centre

Transforming the metals industry from current largely linear economy to a circular economy plays a critical role in delivering the government’s industrial strategy for clean growth, and reaching net zero carbon emissions in 2050.

A truly interdisciplinary academic team and strong industrial consortium are working to accelerate this transformation!

Our ambition is to make the UK the first country in the world to realise full metal circulation.

CircularMetal will provide the capability and pathways to eliminate the need for metal extraction, resulting in an estimated £100bn addition to the UK economy over the next 10 years.

Working with heated metal
Full Metal Circulation Cycle

Research Programme

CircularMetal research has four interconnected dimensions: economical, environmental, technological and societal.

We will focus on the two most widely used metals of highest economic value (steel and aluminium). Conducting research on key topics to demonstrate the potential approaches to Circular Economy.

To deliver full metal circulation, together with our industrial partners, we will:
    • Conduct macro-economic analysis of metal flow to identify circularity gaps and to develop pathways/policies/regulations to bridge them;
    • Develop circular product design principles and circular business models to facilitate the transition to CE;
    • Develop circular alloys and circular processing technologies to enable the transition to CE;
  • Work closely with the wider academic and industrial communities, policy makers and the general public to deliver the widest possible impact of CE.
CircularMetal will deliver multidimensional benefits to the UK as a whole:
    • Support UK government’s industrial strategy for clean growth, doubling resource productivity, strengthening foundation industries and reaching net zero carbon emission by 2050.
    • Support the UK to be a global leader in combating climate change.
    • Support the metals industry’s ambition of a 50% increase in GVA to £16bn by 2030.
    • Provide strong support to the deep decarbonisation of many industrial sectors. The anticipated CO2 reduction due to full circulation of aluminium and steel will be over 30Mt p.a.
    • Facilitate the growth of a new secondary metals industry involving reuse, remanufacture and recycle. Delivering an estimated £20bn p.a. to the UK economy by 2030.
  • Provide opportunity to recycle domestically the currently exported 8Mt of steel scrap and 0.5Mt of aluminium scrap, adding £5bn to the UK GDP and avoiding 25Mt GHG emission p.a.

Our Partners


Inside Metal-Working Facility

Case Studies

Coming soon by the end of 2021.