In the major Resource recovery and sustainable materials offered at Ghent University, students focus on the application and development of resource recovery and recycling technologies and the development of more sustainable materials, e.g., by using waste as a resource or by substituting less sustainable materials components, so that natural resources are not depleted or permanently damaged. Focus is mainly laid on metals and mineral resources, although technologies for water reuse, recycling of plastics and carbon capture and utilization can also be in the scope, particularly if new technologies developed in these domains may help to make the raw materials value chain more sustainable. Accordingly, the sustainability of new materials and technologies is also assessed through e.g. life cycle assessment tools.
The master dissertation should focus on one of these topics. The mandatory course in this major gives students insights in (factors affecting) the sustainable management of resources in the circular economy (including e.g. industrial symbiosis), whereas a first list of elective courses, include courses on waste(water) treatment, sustainable materials (e.g., composites), waste management, resource recovery and recycling technologies. A second list of elective courses offers the students a wide range of tools that may aid in the development of these new technologies and materials (e.g. extraction and separation technologies, control and process engineering, life cycle and environmental impact assessment).