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Trends in Modern Mineral Processing and Recovery Techniques toward the Energy Transition

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 June 2024 | Viewed by 2357

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Mineral Resources Engineering, Technical University of Crete, University Campus, Kounoupidiana, 73100 Chania, Greece
Interests: mineral processing; comminution; modeling and simulation; waste valorization
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Guest Editor
Mineral Resources Engineering Department, Techical University of Crete, Chania, Greece
Interests: rock mechanics; fracture mechanics; mining engineering; rock cutting; underground stability
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Mineral Resources Engineering; Technical University of Crete, 73100 Chania, Greece
Interests: (nano)-mineralogy of various primary & secondary mineral resources; byproducts; waste streams

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to cover topics and foster debates concerning technological innovations in geometallurgy, focusing on mineral processing technologies and recovery techniques for ores, by-products, and waste streams, including critical raw materials (CRMs), while rebounding a responsible supply of strategic metals through sustainable metallurgy in the era of energy transition. To the trajectory of ecological modernization and development, the mining industry requires sustainable exploration/exploitation and the efficient processing of materials. To meet the fundamental needs in mining concerning low CO2 emission and energy consumption, intelligent mining, mining hazard management, and self-driving technologies are proposed to be implemented in order to obtain social, economic, and environmental outcomes. Additionally, old-standing mineral processing technologies (e.g., comminution—grinding/crushing; classification—particle size separation; beneficiation combined with metallurgy and dewatering—solid/liquid separation) serve as high-energy and cost-consuming methods, affecting the economy and environment. Therefore, vital to optimize such techniques in order to produce mineral concentrates, reducing energy/water consumption and solid waste production by its recycling. The aforementioned actions can be achieved by applying sustainable architectures (modeling and simulation) and efficient controlling techniques in mineral processing systems, thus contributing to a more sustainable “modus operandi”.

Dr. Evangelos Petrakis
Dr. George Xiroudakis
Dr. Platon N. Gamaletsos
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mineral processing
  • comminution modeling and simulation
  • classification—particle size separation
  • dewatering—solid/liquid separation
  • metallurgy
  • sustainability
  • circular economy
  • energy efficiency
  • critical raw materials (CRMs) and metals
  • solid waste and materials recycling

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 9105 KiB  
Article
Effect of Size-Distribution Environment on Breakage Parameters Using Closed-Cycle Grinding Tests
by Evangelos Petrakis
Materials 2023, 16(24), 7687; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16247687 - 17 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 898
Abstract
The so-called population balance model (PBM) is the most widely used approach to describe the grinding process. The analysis of the grinding data is carried out using—among others—the one-size fraction BII method. According to the BII method, the breakage parameters can be determined [...] Read more.
The so-called population balance model (PBM) is the most widely used approach to describe the grinding process. The analysis of the grinding data is carried out using—among others—the one-size fraction BII method. According to the BII method, the breakage parameters can be determined when a narrow particle size fraction is used as feed material to the mill. However, it is commonly accepted that these parameters are influenced by changing the particle size distribution in the mill. Thus, this study examines the breakage parameters through kinetic testing in different natural-size distribution environments generated by closed-cycle grinding tests that simulate industrial milling conditions. The differentiation of the milling environments was accomplished using various reference sieves in the closed-cycle tests. The experimentally determined breakage parameters were back-calculated and then used to simulate the closed-cycle tests using the MODSIMTM software. Additionally, the energy efficiency was evaluated based on the specific surface area of the grinding products and the energy consumption. The results of the kinetic tests showed that the breakage rate of the coarse particles increases as the aperture size of the reference sieve decreases, and consequently, the content of fines in the mill increases. The back-calculated breakage parameters can be reliably used to simulate closed-cycle circuits, thus helping control industrial milling operations. Full article
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21 pages, 7480 KiB  
Article
Kinetics and Modeling of Counter-Current Leaching of Waste Random-Access Memory Chips in a Cu-NH3-SO4 System Utilizing Cu(II) as an Oxidizer
by Peijia Lin, Joshua Werner, Zulqarnain Ahmad Ali, Lucas Bertucci and Jack Groppo
Materials 2023, 16(18), 6274; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16186274 - 19 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 862
Abstract
The leaching of Cu in ammoniacal solutions has proven an efficient method to recover Cu from waste printed circuit boards (WPCBs) that has used by many researchers over the last two decades. This study investigates the feasibility of a counter-current leaching circuit that [...] Read more.
The leaching of Cu in ammoniacal solutions has proven an efficient method to recover Cu from waste printed circuit boards (WPCBs) that has used by many researchers over the last two decades. This study investigates the feasibility of a counter-current leaching circuit that would be coupled with an electrowinning (EW) cell. To accomplish this objective, the paper is divided into three parts. In Part 1, a leaching kinetic framework is developed from a set of experiments that were designed and conducted using end-of-life waste RAM chips as feed sources and Cu(II)-ammoniacal solution as the lixiviant. Various processing parameters, such as particle size, stirring rates, initial Cu(II) concentrations, and temperatures, were evaluated for their effects on the Cu recovery and the leaching rate. It was found that the particle size and initial Cu(II) concentration were the two most important factors in Cu leaching. Using a 1.2 mm particle size diameter and 40 g/L of initial Cu(II) concentration, a maximum Cu recovery of 96% was achieved. The Zhuravlev changing-concentration model was selected to develop the empirically fitted kinetic coefficients. In Part 2, kinetic data were adapted into a leaching function suitable for continuously stirred tank reactors. This was achieved via using the coefficients from the Zhuravlev model and adapting them to the Jander constant concentration model for use in the counter-current circuit model. Part 3 details the development of a counter-current circuit model based on the relevant kinetic model, and the circuit performance was modeled to provide a tool that would allow the exploration of maximum copper recovery whilst minimizing the Cu(II) reporting to electrowinning. A 4-stage counter-current circuit was modeled incorporating a feed of 35 g/L of Cu(II), achieving a 4.12 g/L Cu(II) output with 93% copper recovery. Full article
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