SELECTA seeks to achieve the target purposes using a sustainable approach, designing alloy compositions without or with minimum amounts of scarce or toxic elements while employing
environmentally-friendly, minimally invasive electrolytic baths. In this sense, the following policies (compositional restrictions) will be taken into account in SELECTA:


Restriction R1

Avoid the use of rare-earths (RE) and noble metals (NM) in the electrodeposited alloy compositions.
The lack of RE is indeed a major concern for the European Union (EU). A list of critical raw materials can be found here


Restriction R2

Avoid the use of highly toxic metals and avoid (or minimize) the use of hazardous chemicals in the electrolytic baths, in particular those related to the “substances of high concern” , as stipulated by the European Chemicals Agency.

Some of the most carcinogenic substances (e.g., hexavalent chromium compounds, cadmium or lead salts, whose deposition requires highly-toxic cyanides), were extensively employed in the past for the electrodeposition of protective coatings in the most demanding applications (aggressive environments). 

Since the use of these materials has been prohibited by National and European regulations, alternative materials have emerged. Proposed alternatives for hard chromium are NiP, CoP, NiW or CoW. However, these are not good choices, bearing in mind environmental concerns. Zn-based (Zn-Co, Zn-Ni and Zn-Sn) and Al-based (Al-Mn) alloys have been proposed as replacement for Cd-alloys. However, electrodeposition of Al alloys requires the use of ionic liquids.



The use of hazardous chemicals including concentrated acids and alkalis, heavy metals, cyanides and oils will be minimized as much as possible and protective equipment (disposable gloves, eye protection and face masks will be used whenever deemed necessary). Durable electrolytic baths, avoiding short-term precipitation, will be designed. To avoid hazardous chemicals (e.g., boric acid), deep eutectic solvents and ionic liquids will be considered as green electrolytes. Since both have a negligible vapour pressure at room temperature, these solvents are non-volatile and hence do not pollute environment in a significant manner (green electrochemistry).



Restriction R3

Avoid the use of cobalt or nickel. The use of Co and Ni is also discouraged because of environmental issues; Co(II) salts appear also as “substances of high concern”. On the other hand, Ni is toxic and, in particular, highly allergenic (directive EN 1811 will be taken into account for devices that might be in contact with human skin). Ni might only be used (in small amounts) in the contingency plan (if Ni/Co-free samples do not meet the technological demands).



Restriction R4

Minimize the use of gallium and phosphorus.


Gallium is generally considered not to be toxic (unless ingested in large amounts) and although there is less supply risk for Ga than for RE or NM, Ga appears also in the list of “substances of high concern”. The reason for that is the abusive use of Ga especially in the semiconductors industry. If no actions are undertaken, Ga will become amongst the scarcest resources in 2030




Phosphorus is essential as nutrient for plants, animals and humans and is non-replaceable. Phosphorus supplies are limited and prices have been volatile. Hence, concern has arisen about the availability of future phosphorus supplies in the EU and worldwide. For this reason, the European Commission (EC) launched a consultation on how to use phosphorus in a more sustainable way in 2013 and the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform was also created. Hence, SELECTA will keep in mind this concern by minimizing the use of P in electrodeposition procedures, although some alloys containing P (like CoP, NiP) have been widely used in recent years.

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H2020 logo

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 642642


SELECTA is a highly interdisciplinary initiative which has the primary goal of training young researchers in the field of smart electrodeposited metallic alloys suitable for environmental / sustainable development applications.



SELECTA project is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network that offers the possibility to pursue the PhD within the Network at different research centers.15 PhD positions are funded by the European Community under Horizon 2020 




SELECTA seeks to achieve the target purposes using a sustainable approach, designing alloy compositions without/with minimum amounts of scarce or toxic elements, while employing environmentally-friendly, minimally invasive electrolytic baths.