Singapore CEA Alliance for Research in the Circular Economy (SCARCE)

In August 2018, the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) established a joint centre called the  “Singapore CEA Alliance for Research in the Circular Economy” (SCARCE). For CEA, this is its first joint centre outside of France. The centre’s attentionis on innovative waste recycling research with an aim to develop advanced technologies in sorting, dismantling, dissolution, separation and materials reuse processes to enable innovative waste management solutions  adapted to Singapore’s ecosystem. The initial focus of SCARCE will be on e-waste and more specifically, in the following areas :

  1.     Recycling of lithium ion batteries
  2.     Development of a sustainable recycling technology for  silicon solar panels
  3. ​​    Low cost and green processes for printed circuit board recovery
  4.     Detoxification and recycling of toxic plastic e-waste

In time, this  centre hopes to elevate  the concept of “urban mining”, mostly through the novel deployments of extractive hydrometallurgical techniques, for the efficient and clean recovery and reuse of materials from recycled e-waste in future projects. The programme aims to offer solutions and demonstrate the state-of-the-art technological advances obtained via lab tested and validated results that will eventually be applied to the types of e-waste cited above. This will greatly contribute to  Singapore’s sustainability blueprint and further develop its local industry.  For the CEA, it will enable a faster access to market and return on investment for new materials, products, processes and concepts currently under development in its laboratories.

The session took place in the SCARCE laboratory where, following a short presentation, technologies in the fields of research/innovation that are currently being investigated were highlighted.

NTU Vg. Prof. JC Gabriel is Research Director at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), and  co-director of the NTU Singapore CEA Alliance for Research in Circular Economy (SCARCE). He joined CEA in 2007 where he was the manager of the  “Beyond CMOS” programme of the CEA/LETI institute. He then became the Deputy Director of the CEA’s Nanoscience programme and was also the co-principal investigator of the REE-CYCLE advanced ERC project (2013-2018) which developed new rare earth extraction/recycling processes.

He studied  at the Ecole Normale Supérieure before receiving  his Ph.D. from  the University of Orsay. He also obtained a diploma from the  Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France. He has worked in academia and industry  (CNRS/Nanomix Inc./CEA) in nanoscience. Prof Gabriel published more than 60 papers in international peer reviewed journals and is on the holder of more than 50 patents and patent applications, many of them dealing with nanomaterials, carbon nanotubes and graphene.

We want to warmly thank Jean-Christophe Gabriel for the organisation of the visit as well as his team of researchers who welcomed us and took the time to show us the different areas on which the laboratory is working.

(Address: NTU School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
62 Nanyang Dr, Singapore 637459)