Circular Economy

An applied scholarly journal on circular economy

Towards a Circular Economy in Critical Value Chains

Last updated: 21 September 2022

Editors: Brian Baldassarre and Benjamin Sprecher

It is clear that our future economic system will be to a large degree circular. What is not clear is how to get there. This special issue calls for papers that focus on how a circular economy approach (reduce, reuse, recycle) might be leveraged to mitigate EU dependencies from critical products, components, and raw materials across sensitive value chains (please see EU industrial strategy 2020). For example, the ICT sector is critical for the EU economy, yet during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic the supply of chips was disrupted. In this context, a circular approach based on the reuse of chips recovered from ICT products might be relevant to mitigate the risk of similar disruptions in the future, especially considering that the semiconductor industry and related production of chips is largely based in the region of Taiwan, whose autonomy is increasingly threatened by China. Similar critical value chains include that of EV batteries, as well as those of most renewable energy technologies, where resilience is now particularly pressing to mitigate EU’s fossil fuel dependency from Russia.

We invite multidisciplinary research contributions focusing on these and other value chains, with a focus on material flows and product engineering issues, complemented by important economic (e.g., circular business models, financial flows, etc.) and geopolitical considerations (international relations, policies, etc.). We especially invite contributions from the field of economics and political economy. We also highlight that there has been a fair amount of research on recycling, but less so on reduction of raw-material demand, including through re-use and remanufacturing.

Please mind the following deadlines for this issue:

Extended Abstracts (1000 words) should be submitted before 30 June 2023
Full papers to be submitted by 1 September 2023
Peer review process to be completed by 31 October 2023
Full paper deadline (if accepted): 31 December 2023
Special issue for issue 3.1 published April 2024

To upload your work to us, please click here.

Should you have questions on the above, please write


  • Bobba, S., Mathieux, F., & Blengini, G. A. (2019). How will second-use of batteries affect stocks and flows in the EU? A model for traction Li-ion batteries. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 145(October 2018), 279–291.
  • European Commission. (2020). Critical Raw Materials for Strategic Technologies and Sectors in the EU: A Foresight Study. Publications Office of the European Union.
  • European Commission. (2020). Critical Raw Materials for Strategic Technologies and Sectors in the EU: A Foresight Study. Publications Office of the European Union.
  • Jin, H., Frost, K., Sousa, I., Ghaderi, H., Bevan, A., Zakotnik, M., & Handwerker, C. (2020). Life cycle assessment of emerging technologies on value recovery from hard disk drives. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 157(February), 104781.
  • Leiden Delft Erasmus Centre for Sustainability. (2022). Critical Materials, Green Energy and Geopolitics: A Complex Mix.

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Social, environmental and economic impacts of circular economy

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First published: 05 April 2022

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