Dr. Martin Rudolph
Head of the Processing Department

Phone: +49 0351 260 - 4410

Dr. Katrin Pollmann
Group Leader Biotechnology
Processing Department

Phone: +49 351 260 - 2946
Fax: +49 351 260 - 3553, -12946


Further Links


Department of Processing

Division of Processing

While the global metal content in deposits decreases, more and more ores are characterized by valuable minerals that are finely distributed and bound in rather small particles (< 100 µm). For the raw materials industry, however, processing several billion tons of ore per year is becoming a major technical challenge.

In order to exploit these increasingly complex mineral resources such as complex ore deposits or tailings, the Department of Processing is concerned with enhancing classical flotation techniques and developing modern processing concepts.

The department also focuses on innovative biological technologies. The Biotechnology Group develops new methods for extracting and processing metals from primary and secondary resources using microorganisms as well as their metabolic products.

Research topics in the Division of Processing at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology

All research topics at a glance (click to enlarge scheme)

Research Fields

Foto: Flotation Cell in the Freiberg Laboratory (small) ©Copyright: HZDR/Frank Schinski


Molecular processes play an important role in the beneficiation of complex mineral resources but its fundamental mechanisms are still not fully understood. Which is why, the Processing Department investigates its physical and chemical fundamentals in order to enhance existing procedures, develop new ones, and to run them on a pilot scale.
Foto: Bakterien und andere Mikroorganismen können durch ihre Stoffwechselprozesse Metalle aus Erzkörpern herauslösen ©Copyright: HZDR/ Sander Münster


The application of biotechnological methods is an energy efficient, environmentally friendly and economical way to reco­ver and recycle industrial metals. The Biotechnology Group studies the application of biological procedures and biomolecules in "biomining". Furthermore, the group investigates nanobiotechnology and nanostructured biocomposites.