eMaPriCE project goal is to identify opportunities for Circular Economy strategies to be implemented in order to prevent that critical raw materials end up as waste. It also looks at options of substitution of non-critical for critical raw materials.

This project responds to Circular Economy Plan in Portugal (Actions 5 and 7) and Directive EU 2018/851 of the Parliament and the Council of 30th of May of 2018, according to which “… Member States should take measures to assure the best management of waste containing significative quantities of critical raw materials (CRM) (…) Member States should also take national measures to include collection, separation and valorization of waste that have significant amounts of CRM in their waste management plans. (…) The European Commission should provide information on relevant product groups and waste streams relevant at Union level. The provision of such information does not, however, prevent Member States from taking measures for other raw materials considered important for their national economy.”.

eMaPriCE project took place during 2021/2022.


The study addresses 31 critical raw materials (and one strategic), here designated as CRM+: 30 are the critical raw materials (CPM) included in the European CRM list, listed in the following table (Communication COM(2020) 47– Critical Raw Materials Resilience: Charting a Path towards greater Security and Sustainability), to which natural cork was added, due to its strategic relevance for Portugal, which is the world’s largest producer of cork. It should be noted that natural cork is classified in the same European Commission (EC) document as on the threshold of criticality, thus being very close to being considered as part of the European CRM list.

List of critical raw materials (and cork) CRM+ (European Commission, 2020)

Antimony (Sb)
Baryte (BaSO4 mineral)
Bauxite (Al & Ga)
Beryllium (Be)
Bismuth (Bi)
Borates (BOx compounds of BO3 or BO4)
Cobalt (Co)
Coking Coal (CCO)
Fluorspar (CaF2)
Galium (Ga)
Germanium (Ge)
Hafnium (Hf)
Heavy Rare Earth Elements (HREE)**
Indium (In)
Lithium (Li)

Light Rare Earth Elements (LREE)*
Magnesium (Mg)
Natural Graphite (C)
Natural Rubber
Niobium (Nb)
Platinum Group Metals (PGM)***
Phosphate rock
Phosphorus (P)
Scandium (Sc)
Silicon Metal (Si)
Tantalum (Ta)
Titanium (Ti)
Tungsten (W)
Strontium (Sr)
Vanadium (V)

*HREE: yttrium (Y), europium (Eu), gadolinium (Gd), terbium (Tb), dysprosium (Dy), holmium (Ho), erbium (Er), thulium (Tm), ytterbium (Yb), lutetium (Lu)
**LREE: lanthanum (La), cerium (Ce), praseodymium (Pr), neodymium (Nd), promethium (Pm), samarium (Sm)
***PGM: ruthenium (Ru), rhodium (Rh), palladium (Pd), osmium (Os), iridium (Ir), platinum (Pt)

It should be noted that natural cork is classified in the same European Commission (EC) document as on the threshold of criticality, thus being very close to being considered part of the European CRM list.

Criticality of raw materials includes the following 2 criteria (European Commission, 2020):

  1. Economic Importance (EI) – calculated based on the relevance of the material to a certain final use applications within the EU, also accounting for possible substitution materials in those applications;
  2. Supply Risk (SR) – calculated based on factors that measure the risk of supply chains disruptions for a certain material (e.g.: level of concentration of suppliers, dependence of imports, level of governance of supplier countries measured by world governance indicators, commercial agreements and restrictions, level of criticality of possible substitute materials). To this characterization the primary extracted materials are considered (e.g.: ore and also the supply of processed materials, classified either as “stage I” or “stage II”. In some cases, a CRM has been considered critical merely due to compliance with one of these supply chain stages criteria.

The 31 CRM+ list is very heterogeneous and may belong to either one of the following groups of materials: industrial and construction minerals, iron metals and iron alloys, precious metals, rare earth elements, organic materials, others.


Sectors considered in the eMaPriCE study

The project initially focusses on eight economic sectors relevant to the Portuguese economy, which are studied qualitatively concerning the presence of CRM+ along their value chain. Six out of the eight sectors are then selected to further assess the presence of the 31 CRM+ in quantitative terms, as much as possible given innumerous limitation, the most important, data availability and time.

The eight sectors initially selected for qualitative analysis are the following: textiles and footwear, cork, ceramics, mineral extraction, chemical and fertilizers, renewable energy, electronic and electric equipment, automobile. The illustrated flag indicates if the sector is strategic in terms of CRM+ for Portugal and/or the European Union.

These eight sectors covered in the first phase of the study have been chosen according to the following criteria:

  1. Sectors whose value chain is significantly represented in Portugal, ie, with fabrication / extraction located in Portugal, hence being able to be the target of intervention in a pre-consumption phase (e.g.: product design or production processes), in a consumption phase or in a post-consumption phase;
  2. Priority sectors for the study of CRM+ at European level which despite not having fabrication in Portugal, have a relevant presence in national consumption (products containing CRM+) and where the intervention can be made at the consumption and post-consumption phases, up to a maximum of three sectors, namely: renewable energy, electric and electronic equipment and automobile. These have been chosen because they are strategic to Portugal at final consumption stages, as there is few fabrications, but most products and/or their components are imported.


In the second phase of the study, the quantitative assessment of the presence of CRM+ in the national economy, the work is centered in 6 sectors, to which phosphorous within fertilizer sector has been added, given the high relevance for the national economy.

  1. Textiles
  2. Ceramics
  3. Cork
  4. Electric and electronic equipment (EEE)
  5. Renewable energy
  6. Automobile

      +  Fertilizer – phosphorous

The selection has been based in a set of criteria defined in the methodology and discussed with the Consultive Group.


The activities carried out within the scope of eMaPrice – Study of Critical and Strategic Raw Materials and Circular Economy in Portugal, are structured in the following tasks:

In the methodological approach for value chain (and supply) mapping, the following situations are intended to be mapped for each CRM+ (and activity sector):

  • CRM+ extracted in Portugal (Li, W, cork)
  • CRM+ used in the national industry in manufacturing processes
  • CRM+ present only as final products

In this context, identify whether in the country we currently have a leading role in the end-of-life management of products with CRM+ and whether these are exported as products and/or waste.

Regarding the applications of CRM+ in Portugal, these include the following phases:

a) In pre-consumption stages, that is, associated with the manufacturing activity of a given sector in its main production process, in one or more of the following:

  • CRM+ is a raw material (eg natural cork in the case of the cork sector);
  • CRM+ is a subsidiary raw material or a consumable, not remaining present in the final product;
  • CRM+ is present in an intermediate or semi-finished product or components, and as such remains in the final product;

  • CRM+ present in a finished product as a result of one of the above (only CRM+ applications associated with the core manufacturing activity. eg machinery with CRM+ to produce its final product (eg computers used in the textile sector) is not considered in this study.

b) In use and post-consumption phases, that is, that integrate final products for the eight sectors used in Portugal.

The project involves two forums for the study co-development: a Consulting Group and a Stakeholders Group. Both contribute to the overall development through advising on the proposed methodological approach, by suggesting sources of information and critically appreciating the work and, participating in the final event, giving voice to the relevance of the main findings and dissemination of the results. Each of the Groups will also have their own specific objectives.

Consultiv Group

  • DGAE – Dir. Geral das Atividade Económicas Min. Economia
  • GEE – Gab. Estratégia e Estudos Min. Economia
  • ANI – Agência Nacional de Inovação
  • FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia
  • IMPIC – Instituto dos Mercados Públicos Imobiliário e Construção

  • 2 national academic experts

3 Meetings: (1) qualitative mapping of value chains and CRM+; (2) selection of the 6 sectors, presentation and discussion of preliminary results, quantitative characterization and validation of strategies and recommendations; (3) presentation and discussion of final results.

Stakeholders Group

  • Technological Centres

  • Business associations of the 6 setors

  • AEPSA – Association of Portuguese Companies for the Environment Sector (Waste Management)

  • Waste managment companies
    Eletrão, ERP, Valorcar, E-Cycle, Microplásticos

  • Representative business
    Corticeira Amorim, ADP Fertilizantes, AdP/EPAL

2 Meetings: (1) qualitative mapping of value chains and CRM+ and collect ideas about potentially viable circularity strategies; (2) presentation and discussion of preliminary results, quantitative characterization and validation of strategies and recommendations. Further bilateral meetings.



Sofia Simões

Resource Economics Unit

Sofia is a researcher and coordinates LNEG’s Resource Economics Unit. She works on carbon neutral futures, with an emphasis on energy technologies and systems, new policy models, as well as vulnerability and adaptation of energy systems to climate change. She has developed the quantitative component via energy systems modeling of several decision-support for national and European public policies. She has worked on several national and European projects, namely the role of H2 in energy transition, use of water and mineral resources for decarbonization, sustainable energy cities, climate change adaptation of urban buildings and on climate services. With eMaPriCE, Sofia aims to make clearer what are the CRM flows in the Portuguese economy, seeking to identify innovative strategies that enable the fair and sustainable transition of our economy and energy system towards carbon neutrality.

Cristina Sousa Rocha

Resource Economics Unit

Researcher at LNEG’s Resource Economics Unit and responsible for the Circular Economy area, she coordinates national and international R&D and training projects in the fields of ecodesign, design for sustainability and circular economy, applied to products, product-service systems and models of business.

Cristina holds a degree in Environmental Engineering, a MSc in Sanitary Engineering and in 2002 she defended a public dissertation to access the scientific research career with a dissertation on “Environmental Management Systems – Towards Sustainable Development?”.

Her background and experience combine the areas of environmental sustainability and social sustainability at the level of companies and value chains, with a life cycle perspective and a systemic view. She has been dedicated to conceptual and methodological development, scientific production, teaching and training and standardization in her areas of expertise.

Justina Catarino

Renewable Energy and
Energy Efficiency Unit

Justina Catarino is a researcher at the LNEG Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Unit (UEREE), with an academic background in Environmental Engineering.

Her research focuses on the area of sustainability, operationalization at a business level through the promotion of eco-efficiency, energy efficiency, development and application of strategies and tools for preventive environmental management such as cleaner production and sustainable value. Member of the LNEG team in the national consortium of the European Enterprise Network – area of energy, resource management and sustainability.

With eMaPriCE, it aims to contribute to the identification of opportunities for implementing circular economy strategies, to prevent CRM from becoming waste, as well as options for replacing these with non-critical raw materials.

Jorge Alexandre

Resource Economics Unit

Jorge Alexandre is a researcher at LNEG’s Resource Economics Unit (UER) with an academic degree in Industrial Design and master in Management and Quality of Materials, and researcher specialized in “Industrial performance based on the concept of Value-contribution of functional analysis”.

He began his career at LNEG in 1990, participating in projects in the areas of Value Analysis, Functional Analysis and Management by Value. He was part of the team that developed the methodology and manual on Sustainable Value. In recent years, his research areas have been around the development, implementation and training of methodologies and tools aimed at increasing sustainable value, eco-efficiency, sustainable and circular design and new archetypes of business models redirected to a Circular Economy and sustainable management of resources. The knowledge acquired over the years will be applied and enriched through participation in eMaPriCE.

Filipa Amorim

Resource Economics Unit

Filipa Amorim is a researcher in the area of ​​energy, environment and resources at LNEG’s Resource Economics Unit (UER). Her research focuses on planning the transition to sustainable energy systems, complying with competitive mechanisms and low carbon goals. Her most recent work includes climate services, competitiveness of hydrogen, lithium and other materials for decarbonisation, and water uses in a low carbon context.

With more than 20 years of research experience in several national research centers, in close collaboration with stakeholders and integrated in international networks, her work has been published and presented internationally. With eMaPriCE she aims to promote the efficient use of CRM in the metabolism of the economy, exploring possibilities in their value chains and implementing business model innovation strategies to promote eco-informed, carbon neutral and sustainable transitions.

Carlos Nogueira

Materials for Energy Unit

Carlos Nogueira is a researcher at the National Laboratory of Energy and Geology. He has a degree in Chemical Engineering and a PhD in Materials Engineering from IST-University of Lisbon. He is currently coordinator of the Materials for Energy Unit at LNEG. A researcher for about 30 years, his scientific domain is mainly Chemical Metallurgy and Materials Recycling. Main scientific interests have been the development and optimization of processes, from laboratory scale to pilot tests, mainly in hydrometallurgical operations and currently focused on strategic / critical metals. He participated in several national and international research projects in the areas of recycling waste containing metals. Recently, he has developed new scientific interests in some energy storage technologies, namely thermal storage and batteries. The main contribution to the eMaPriCE project is its experience in the characterization and treatment of waste, namely those containing critical raw materials.

Cristina Ferreira

Materials for Energy Unit

Cristina Ferreira works at the National Laboratory of Energy and Geology, in the Materials and Coatings Laboratory. She has participated in technical and technological support activities for companies and in national and european research projects in the areas of characterization of natural and synthetic polymers, applications of natural resins, anti-corrosion coatings with less environmental impact, durability of materials in solar collectors, characterization of photocatalytic coatings and durability of reflectors for solar concentration systems.

The motivation to participate in the eMaPriCE project is the project’s significant contribution to reducing the country dependence on critical raw materials.



Ana Cristina Carrola

Member of the Board of Directors

Manuela Proença

Advisor to the Board of Directors

Lucinda Gonçalves

Senior Technician of
Waste Department

Samuel Niza

Samuel Niza has over 20 years of experience in industrial ecology and corporate sustainability. He coordinated and developed numerous environmental and energy assessment projects, particularly focusing on sustainable resource management and the life cycle of products and services. He has also extensive experience in regional planning projects and environmental policies.

Samuel is the founder of Circular – Sustainability Consulting, a firm specialized in evaluating and supporting the development of sustainable solutions for circular economy, based on resource efficiency.

He graduated in Environmental Engineering at Universidade Nova de Lisboa (1998) and in 1999 joined the Center for Sustainable Business Development at INETI. In 2007, he received his PhD in Environmental Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico.





CRM+ in the Portuguese economy

CRM+ value chains in the 8 sectors under qualitative analysis


(click to view the corresponding sheet)

CRM+ Applications by Sector


(click to view the corresponding sheet)

CRM+ flows in the economy


(click to view the corresponding sheet)

CRM+ Applications


(click to view the corresponding sheet)

Final Event


Study of Critical and Strategic Raw Materials and Circular Economy in Portugal

Sofia Simões


MATERIALS: Criticallity and Mitigation Strategies 

Alexandre Velhinho

(NOVA School of Science and Technology)

Beyond resource productivity – critical raw materials

Sónia Cunha, Paulo Ferrão

(TÉCNICO – Lisboa)

Circular Economy and Waste Management

Ana Cristina Carrola


Final Report

Examples of circularity DB



LNEG — Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia
Estrada da Portela
Bairro do Zambujal
Apartado 7586, Alfragide
2610-999 Amadora

(+351) 21 092 46 00




© 2022 eMaPriCe      |     Accessibility

Skip to content