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Prof. Binnemans wins LeCoq de Boisbaudran award at ICfE-10

Prof. Koen Binnemans (SIM² KU Leuven & Solvomet) was recently given the LeCoq de Boisbaudran award for his “outstanding and long-lasting contribution” in the field of rare earth recycling. The prize was awarded during the tenth International Conference on f-Elements (ICfE-10) that took place on September 3–6, 2018 at the EPFL campus in Lausanne, Switzerland. (SR, Leuven, 1709/2018)

The tenth International Conference on f-Elements, ICfE-10, took place on September 3–6, 2018 at the EPFL campus in Lausanne, Switzerland. This conference focuses on all aspects of rare earths and actinides science: from theory and coordination chemistry to recycling, criticality and applications on bioscience and medicine. Since the year 2000, this conference is also the place where the winner of the LeCoq de Boisbaudran award is announced. This award has been given to scientists who have made “an outstanding and long-lasting contribution to the science and/or technology of the f-elements”.


This year, Professor Koen Binnemans, from KU Leuven in Belgium, has been honored with this award for his remarkable work on rare-earth recycling and solvometallurgy. The award of 2018, which is bestowed triennially, was sponsored by Qiandong Rare Earth Group Co., Ltd, Ganzhou P.R. China. The opening lecture “Solvometallurgy for Rare Earths” was one of the highlights of the programme, on which Professor Binnemans presented the concept of solvometallurgy and inspiring examples of its uses in the recycling of rare earths from different end-of-life products.

ERES Junior Award

18 years ago, during the ICfE conference in Madrid, Professor Binnemans was awarded with the ERES Junior Award for his outstanding achievements in research during his short career. Professor Jean-Claude Bünzli was totally right when he profiled Professor Binnemans to be one of the leading rare earth coordination chemists in the 21st century [1].  In the same way as LeCoq de Boisbaudran was passionate about rare earths, Professor Binnemans has been fascinated with rare earths for more than 20 years and has devoted most of his career to their understanding. From fundamental studies in his early years of research to applicable and innovative ways to recover them in the latest years, Professor Binnemans continues expanding the borders of what is chemically possible.

Binnemans bio

Photo BinnemansProfessor Binnemans is an inorganic chemist, specialised in solvometallurgy and hydrometallurgy. He has developed a core expertise in critical metals and solvent extraction. He is author of 440 papers with a h-index = 63 and more than 18,000 citations. He is an ERC Advanced Grant holder (SOLCRIMET), as well as, the general coordinator of MSCA-ETN REDMUD and DEMETER and partner in the Horizon2020 projects METGROW+, PLATIRUS, NEMO and CROCODILE. Within his academic career, he has been the supervisor of 47 finished PhD theses and he is also the main responsible of the research line Critical Metals in SIM2 KU Leuven. Prof. Binnemans is co-founder of the SOLVOMET industrial service center for solvometallurgy and he is an elected member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts.


[1] J.-C. Bunzli, Journal of Alloys and Compounds 323–324 (2001) 1–3. Download here

Lecture Binnemans

Download Lecture Koen Binnemans “Solvometallurgy for Rare Earths” here


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