Division of Processing
Enhancing traditional methods
The Divisions of Processing is concerned with the development of modern processing concepts for primary and secondary raw materials. Emphasis is put on the physicochemical separation through flotation. This principle will be applied and tested, amongst others, on selected rare earth elements. Furthermore, the technology of micro flotation will be analyzed and developed further for economically processing complex polymetallic and fine-grained raw materials.
Developing new biotechnological procedures
HIF scientists are investigating candidate biotechnological methods for extracting and processing metals and rare earths from primary and secondary resources, as well as e-waste. Biotechnological processes are an energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and inexpensive way for extracting and recycling important industry metals and strategic high tech raw materials. They represent a major research focus of the Biotechnology Group. Here, methods involving bacteria, other microorganisms, and biomolecules are used to leach metals from the ore (bioleaching) and selectively separate them (biosorption, biomineralization).