Prof. Markus Reuter
Department of Process Metallurgy

Phone: +49 351 260 - 4411


Department of Process Metallurgy

Recycling des Fairphones ©Copyright: Fairphone

Recycling Index for the Fairphones, Photo: Fairphone

A sustainable raw materials production not only requires the development of novel extraction and recycling technologies but also the development of digitalized systems in order to quantify the resource efficiency of Circular Economy (CE) systems. Therefore, suitable digital twins based on deep process metallurgy knowledge need to be generated. This simulation basis provides the foundation on which the CE can be controlled and optimized on scientific and engineering principles.

Solvent-Extraktion beim Recycling 2: Philipp Rädecker nutzt die Solvent-Extraktion, um aus Flugstäuben Metalle zu gewinnen. ©Copyright: HZDR/ Detlev Müller

Solvent extraktion used for recycling, Photo: HZDR/ Detlev Müller

For this reason, the Department of Process Metallurgy focuses on the modelling, simulation and linking of metallurgical process chains and systems, which provide material and energy requirements, exergy losses and environmental impact of the CE system. Novel flowsheets are being generated, which also integrate the new extraction technologies, the department researches. The focus of technology development is on both hydro- and pyrometallurgical processes for the cost and energy efficient extraction, enrichment and purification of high-tech metals from primary and secondary resources. In the near future, these flowsheets and technologies will be tested under realistic conditions in the new pilot plant, which is currently under construction.