Energy and Sustainability in Chile: Opportunities in Renewables and Recycling
Historically, Chile has been a country with an economy based on the exploitation of natural resources, particularly minerals such as copper sulfides/oxides and lithium chloride. This has promoted a vast professional expertise in hydrometallurgical, pyrometallurgical and electrometallurgical processes, which position Chile as the first mining country in Latin America. In addition, due to its privileged geographical position, Chile is emerging as a potential renewable energy supplier since it counts with good solar radiation in the north (Atacama Desert), strong winds in the south, and a large mountain range with many active volcanoes (Andes).
In recent years most of the effort in research in this country has been directed to the development of technologies for the conversion of renewable energies into electricity and its storage. In the same sustainable approach, the Government has promoted a new legislation for the recycling of electronic waste and the recovery of metals, considering the Chilean expertise in terms of metallurgical processes.
The Group of Electrochemical Engineering of University of Chile, led by Dr. Melanie Colet-Lagrille, centres most of its research on the study of new materials for water electrolysis and fuel cells technologies and also in the theoretical analysis of these technologies and recycling processes applied to the future energy industry.
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