Strategic metals are raw materials having an essential relevance for new technologies (e.g. electric mobility) and exposing problems in substitution. Due to a possible endangering of future metal supplies (through e.g. geopolitical conditions) manufacturing of innovative technologies in western industrial countries might be constrained.
Within the dissertation different impacts of new technologies on raw material cycles of strategic metals are analyzed and visualized. Based on this, the interactions between possible future resource scarcities and development of new technologies can be examined. This investigation should include two different aspects. One of them are the reasons of potential shortages meaning the changes in raw material cycles due to implementation as well as further development of key technologies (e.g. electrochemical storage systems). The other aspect is how a restricted raw material availability affects the concerned technologies. Main focus of the study is the field of energy technologies precisely electrochemical storage systems in the mobility sector concentrating on lithium as one of the essential raw materials for these.
The research contains analysis of different aspects of lithium’s raw material availability connected with collection of comprehensive data. This allowed for performing a static material flow analysis and developing a global material flow model for lithium. On this basis dynamic modeling of lithium material flows can be performed. Different scenarios shall enable the estimation of future changes in lithium demand and consumption as well as the resulting recycling potential (especially through the development of electric mobility). Finally, it has to be checked if and how these results can be transferred to other strategic metals.