Towards Reality in Resource Characterization (2D3D scopy)
The world is 3-dimensional, but resource characterization is limited to 2-dimensional data. Being able to use 3D instead of the common 2D data will, thus, be a major breakthrough in minerals processing and metal extraction. It helps to image the reality and therefore, enables the reliable prediction of information about mineral recovery as well as the improved characterization of material residues.
For that reason, we create a new measuring routine and software that combines 2D and 3D data and allow for an unprecedented optimization of mineral recovery and energy efficiency as well as the minimization of residues. By applying the new technique it is estimated to save 5% of the energy in the entire process from metals exploitation to refining. It can be used for material quality control but also for the prediction of material behavior.
For developing this breakthrough, we merge quantitative 2-dimensional data from scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with 3-dimensional data from spectral computed X-ray tomography. SEM-based image analysis tools are standard in resource characterization and provide chemical information about mineral distribution or structural parameters such as particle size or mineral association, but in 2D only. Computed X-ray tomography, on the other hand, provides direct structural 3D information in a non-destructive manner, but lacks any chemical information. A new type of detector though, will obtain additional chemical 3D information. This technique is unique for the resource sector which is why, an automated workflow will be developed to integrate 2D and 3D data. In addition, a module for the simulation software HSC chemistry is being designed to import 2D/3D data and uses them in process simulation.
2D3Dscopy. Resource Characterization: from 2D to 3D microscopy
- Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (coordinator)
- Ghent University
- Outotec Oyj
Duration: 1.1.2019 – 31.12.2021
Funding by: EIT RawMaterials/ Up-scaling projects