"InGa-SX" Recycling of Flue Dust Containing Zinc and Copper

So-called flue dust results from the pyro-metallurgic processing of ores in order to produce metals such as copper or zinc. They contain economically strategic metals like indium, gallium and tin, as well as other elements like lead that pose a challenge for waste disposal. The project InGa-SX aims to develop a ready-to-use process to recycle the flue dust (and metals they contain), which have already been partially deposited. The project is coordinated by the consulting firm Mineral Projekt, which conducts the chemical and economic evaluation of the raw material and tests the technical viability of harvesting these metals.

In a second step, the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) and TU Bergakademie Freiberg (TUBAF) are jointly laying the foundations for a new recycling process. HIF is specializing in the application of solvent extraction, also known as liquid-liquid-extraction while TUBAF is investigating the applicability of ion metallurgy. In this process, a targeted selection of ligands or solvents influences the properties of metal ions in order to accumulate them at room temperature without the use of acids. Both methods could be combined to form a new, more efficient recycling technology. Sulzer Chemtech Ltd will then use the lab results to develop a mobile system with a modular construction that will allow the recycling process to be adapted to the respective secondary raw material.

Project partners:

Duration: October 1, 2014 - September 30, 2017

Funding: AiF Projekt GmbH, ZIM cooperation project