CircularMetal: Research Programme

Brunel University London, The University Of Warwick, University College London

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.
Image of Circular Metal

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.
Image of Circular Metal