Department of Analytics
Mineral resources and reusable materials
Whether and how raw materials can be extracted or recovered, efficiently and economically, can be assessed by modern analytical methods. For that reason the Department of Analytics developes and utilizes methods which are able to determine the composition of raw materials quantitatively accurate.
Its research focuses on natural, "primary" minerals from the earth's crust. Our scientist help to exploit new deposits such as rare earth element deposits and at the same time optimize all processes along the value chain by providing mathematical modeling and evaluation data. The overall aim is to exploit and use available resources in the most possible efficient and equitable way. In order to reach that aim, the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg pursues an approach called geometallurgy. It is based on a detailed knowledge about the composition as well as the microstructure of raw materials.
Apart from primary minerals the attention has to be drawn to "secondary" resources. These reusable materials have already been gone through their first life cycle and can now be found in unwanted waste from technological devices. Another potential resource lies in old mining tails. Thus, the division examines the material distribution and flow for metallic raw materials in the industry as well as in the environment. This approach applies to both primary and secondary raw materials.
Wide range of methods
The Department of Analytics is equipped with a wide range of analytical methods at two sites: While the Ion Beam Analysis Group in Dresden-Rossendorf uses ion technology (Super-SIMS, PIXE), Freiberg laboratories provide overall analyses („bulk“; XRF, XRD) and local rock sample analyses (MLA, EPMA, LA-ICP-MS).
Please, follow the link for an overview of all available methods.
Group Ion Beam Analysis
Click here to read about the group Ion Beam Analysis.