PhD Eng. Weronika Urbańska – a scientist, researcher, science popularizer, and active educator.
She is the author of over 40 works in the field of waste management, including articles published in peer-reviewed national and international scientific journals. She is a participant of many conferences and reviewer of articles. Weronika is the multiple co-organizer of activities for children and youth as part of the Lower Silesian Science Festival and the Wrocław Zero Waste Cyclical Meetings (2018). Since 2020, she is a member of the Wrocław Academy of Young Scholars and Artists. Contractor in various scientific and popularization projects related to environmental protection engineering. She is also a member of the “Science Embassy” association, where, together with school and university students and young scientists, she co-creates popular science articles published on foreign portals, incl. United Academics Magazine, Technology.org.
Winner of the Small Grants competition for co-financing the translation of an article awarded by the Women’s Science Foundation (https://kobietynauki.org/) and the 2017 Zero Waste Cups competition in the Zero Waste Person-Ambassador category. Participant of the TopMinds 2019 training and mentoring program organized by the Top 500 Innovators Association and the Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission and the Forge of Young Talents of the AMU PAN (2018, 2019). Certified academic tutor.
Research projects and interests in our company:
In my research, I deal with industrial and hazardous waste management technologies, with particular emphasis on the recycling of polymetallic waste (mainly methods of recovering metals from waste lithium-ion batteries), as well as methods of minimizing waste in everyday life (the Zero Waste idea), this waste management being in the context of climate change and COVID-19.
In this new project I am responsible for the recovery of these metals from the regolith of the Moon and Mars using such microorganisms, a process called ‘’biomining’’.
In my projects, I deal with the recycling of polymetallic waste, especially waste lithium-ion batteries, which are present in our everyday life. The constantly growing demand for small-sized mobile devices such as mobile phones, laptops, and tablets, as well as the developing automotive industry (electric and hybrid vehicles), determine the increase in the amount of lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) produced. It also impacts the huge amount of this type of waste that is generated. Waste batteries must be properly processed due to the substances they contain: improper management of this type of waste can have a serious impact on the water and soil environment and the organisms living in them.
Recycling waste lithium-ion cells is beneficial not only for environmental but also for economic reasons. Lithium-ion batteries are made of many components that can be successfully recovered using many different processing methods. The most valuable components of exhausted LiBs are the recoverable metals (such as cobalt and lithium) contained in the battery powder. It is the methods of metal recovery that are my particular interest, which I am constantly developing during the implementation of various research projects.