Prof. Koen Binnemans (KU Leuven, Department of Chemistry)
The SOLVOMET Group is led by Prof. Koen Binnemans. He is a full professor at the Department of Chemistry, specialised in metallurgical chemistry (circular hydrometallurgy and solvometallurgy). He has developed a core expertise in the chemistry of critical metals and solvent extraction (SX). He is author of more than 560 papers in international peer-reviewed journals, H-index = 83 with more than 29,000 citations. Within his academic career, he has been the (co)supervisor of 60 finished PhDs. For the research domains “hydrometallurgy” & “solvent extraction”, according to Google Scholar (data retrieved 2021-07-06), Binnemans is the “world’s most cited author”.
Binnemans has been the recipient of an ERC Advanced Grant (SOLCRIMET: Solvometallurgy for critical metals) and an ERC Proof of Concept Grant (SOLVOLi: Solvometallurgy for battery-grade refining of lithium). He was the coordinator of several EU projects (FP7 ITN EREAN; H2020 ETN DEMETER, ETN REDMUD and ETN SOCRATES; HE RIA ENICON). His group is partner in multiple EU H2020/HE projects such as NEMO, CROCODILE, TARANTULA, SEA4VALUE, ENICON and HEPHAESTUS.
Together with Dr. Peter Tom Jones, he co-founded the SOLVOMET Industrial Service Centre for circular hydrometallurgy and solvometallurgy in 2017. He is also the main responsible of the Research Line “Sustainable metallurgical processes” in the KU Leuven Institute for Sustainable Metals and Minerals (SIM²).
He was a Steercom Member of the European Rare Earth Competency Network (ERECON) and of the Scientific Council of the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK-CEN). He is an elected member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (KVAB).
Dr. Ir. Peter Tom Jones (KU Leuven, Department of Materials Engineering)
Peter Tom Jones (Dr. Ir.) is a KU Leuven IRF (Industrial Research Fund) Senior Research Manager in the field of Sustainable Metallurgy. He obtained his (Environmental) Engineering Degree in 1996 at the KU Leuven and completed his PhD in Metallurgy in 2001 also at the KU Leuven. Subsequently, he worked as a postdoc at MTM, KU Leuven. Since 2008 he is one of the 30 IRF Research Managers at the KU Leuven.
On the KU Leuven level, he is co-founder of the Centre for High Temperature Processes and Sustainable Materials Management, a Centre focusing on applied research, structurally funded through Umicore, Aperam, Recmix, Metallo-Chimique and Heraeus Electro-Nite. He was the valorisation officer for and Chairman of the Industrial User Committee of RARE³, the KU Leuven Knowledge Platform on rare earth recycling. Since 2014 he is the Director of SIM² KU Leuven, the cluster that brings together various research groups/departments at KU Leuven. This cluster transformed into the KU Leuven Institute for Sustainable Metals and Minerals (SIM²) early 2020.
Together with Prof. Koen Binnemans, he co-founded the SOLVOMET Industrial Service Centre for circular hydrometallurgy and solvometallurgy in 2017.