Circular Economy

Bringing together policymakers, manufacturers, and consumers and assessing all sectors and interconnectivities to develop a life cycle approach to the circular economy and moving to a zero waste future (materials and energy)

Bringing together policymakers, manufacturers, and consumers and assessing all sectors and interconnectivities to develop a life cycle approach to the circular economy and moving to a zero waste future (materials and energy)

Over 90% of the global economy continues to function with the unsustainable, linear “take-make-toss” process in relation to materials. Manufacturers rely on raw natural resources for processing and production, and the materials produced largely lack viability or end of use/life strategy. The circular economy looks to reduce waste in the life cycle of production and increase efficiency and effectiveness of recycling at the end of life for products.

Colorado School of Mines, the Payne Institute for Public Policy and our partners are working to address this issue and generate important research on the circular economy. Colorado School of Mines has expertise at every point of production. From the initial identification and extraction of natural resources, to processing, manufacturing, distribution, and product end-of-life reclamation. Through collaboration on campus with our geophysics, mining engineering, advanced manufacturing, mechanical engineering and chemistry departments and others. As well as off campus collaboration with NREL and various industry partners, the Payne Institute is connecting its breath of technical expertise with the world of public policy to bring the issue of the circular economy to the forefront.

NEWS

Biden’s EV agenda hits mining world’s boom-and-bust cycle

Biden’s EV agenda hits mining world’s boom-and-bust cycle

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Ian Lange contributed to this article about how President Joe Biden’s electric vehicle agenda could be in for a roller coaster ride, but this time it can’t be blamed on thorny politics, range anxiety or the effect of falling temperatures on chargers. Instead the focus now is on the price of lithium. The price of the key EV battery ingredient plummeted in recent months, not because of any policy action but due to the simple laws of supply and demand.  January 31, 2024.

LNG Exports Shouldn’t Be the Next Keystone Campaign 1/26/2024

LNG Exports Shouldn’t Be the Next Keystone Campaign

Payne Institute Fellow Liam Denning writes this article on the greenest White House the US has ever seen also happens to preside over a record-breaking domestic oil and gas boom. While that complicates Republican talking points, it also stokes a conflict within President Joe Biden’s own party that has now found its battleground: Liquefied natural gas. January 26,2024.

What is the Cost of Going Green? (Part B) 1/23/24

WHAT IS THE COST OF GOING GREEN? Perspectives from Ghana (PART B)

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Jim Crompton, Paulina Lanz, and Justine Huang are on this podcast (part B) discussing what the real costs of going green are, and who is going to pay the bill?  In Part B of the episode, Jim chats with a panel of Payne Institute student researchers from Ghana at the Colorado School of Mines – Eben Manful-Sam, John Ayaburi, Rueben Anafo and Felix Ayaburi– who help us better understand the challenges of sustainable development from a sub-Saharan Africa perspective. January 23, 2024.

What is the Cost of Going Green? (Part A) 1/19/2024

What is the Cost of Going Green? (Part A)

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Jim Crompton, Sustainable Finance Lab Program Manager Brad Handler, Paulina Lanz, and Justine Huang are on this podcast discussing what are the real costs of going green, and who is going to pay the bill?  Brad Handler breaks down why we are still investing so much in fossil fuels, the investments that might be needed to support the growth of renewable energy, and how we might redirect investments towards developing countries that will play a large role in the energy transition. We also dive into why oil companies have been so profitable, whether divesting from fossil fuels is a good idea, and the role that Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry might play in the energy transition.  January 19, 2024.

Building Trust through an Equitable and Inclusive Energy Transition 1/17/2024

Building Trust through an Equitable and Inclusive Energy Transition

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributed to this report by the World Economic Forum that provides a framework and 10 critical questions, aiming to build trust, encourage collaboration and guide policy-makers and business leaders in the energy sector towards advancing a just, equitable and inclusive energy transition.  January 17, 2024.

Comparing methods for criticality and security in minerals for clean energy 1/13/2024

Comparing methods for criticality and security in minerals for clean energy

Mines Advanced Energy Systems Student Eliza Hotchkiss, Maria Paz Urdaneta, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how energy security goals, supply chain risks, production growth, and market dynamics will shape the future of critical mineral methodologies.  This paper reviews two methodologies employed for critical mineral identification from nations committed to clean energy transitions.  January 13, 2024.

The US shale magnate trying to sell oil and gas jobs to Generation Z 1/8/2024

The US shale magnate trying to sell oil and gas jobs to Generation Z

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Jennifer Miskimins contributed to this article about how US shale magnate Harold Hamm is leading attempts to lure an increasingly skeptical younger generation to the oil and gas industry as climate concerns and job insecurity dent the attractiveness of the industry for graduates and skilled tradespeople. January 8, 2024.

 

Lithium nexus: Energy, geopolitics, and socio-environmental impacts in Mexico’s Sonora project 12/22/2023

Lithium nexus: Energy, geopolitics, and socio-environmental impacts in Mexico’s Sonora project

Vlado Vivoda, Payne Institute Director Morgan D. Bazilian, Asmaa Khadim, Natalie Ralph, and Ghaleb Krame write about how the global transition to low-carbon energy systems has dramatically increased the demand for lithium, essential for energy storage and transport electrification—with lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries as the dominant technology in both market segments.  Enter the Sonora Lithium Project in Mexico, home to what could be one of the world’s largest lithium deposits.  This paper delves into these challenges using the Sonora Project as a lens, aiming to provide clarity and insights for various decision-makers, stakeholders, and researchers.  December 22, 2023.

Solid oxide fuel cell at Colorado Fuel Cell Center now helping to power Mines campus 12/18/2023

Solid oxide fuel cell at Colorado Fuel Cell Center now helping to power Mines campus

Payne Institute Faculty Fellows Robert Braun and Neal Sullivan are featured in this article about how the Mines first-of-its-kind prototype is capable of generating almost 30 kW of electric power from natural gas, low-carbon fuels.  The research program is managed through DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), and features a hybrid fuel-cell and reciprocating engine system targeting 100 kW of net electricity at 70 percent efficiency under natural gas fuel and renewable fuels. December 18, 2023.

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For more information about the Circular Economy Research Area at the Payne Institute for Public Policy, please contact our Deputy Director, Gregory Clough, at gclough@mines.edu.