Topic Editors

Departament d’Enginyeria Minera, Industrial i TIC (EMIT), Escola Politècnica Superior d'Enginyeria de Manresa (EPSEM), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Av. Bases de Manresa 61–63, 08242 Manresa, Spain
Mineral Processing Laboratory, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, 9500 Bento Gonçalves Avenue, Porto Alegre 91501-970, Brazil
Department of Materials and Structures, Université Gustave Eiffel, F-44344 Bouguenais, France

Recycling and Value-Added Utilization of Secondary Raw Materials

Abstract submission deadline
closed (31 December 2021)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (15 April 2022)
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Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

The interdisciplinary Topic Issue “Recycling and Value-Added Utilization of Secondary Raw Materials” is related to solid waste generated by the industry as well as by society. In a circular economy, waste can and should be recycled and used as secondary raw materials, which can be handled similarly to primary raw materials. The use of secondary raw materials in various branches of the industry is important for further development of the economy, decrease in minerals and energy, green industry, etc.

The main solid wastes generated in the world derive from Construction & Demolition, Mining & Quarrying, Manufacturing, Households, among others. The core interest of this Topic Issue reflects the quality improvement of these materials by separation, concentration, sorting, recycling, and reutilization.

Prof. Dr. Carlos Hoffmann Sampaio
Prof. Dr. Weslei Monteiro Ambros
Dr. Bogdan Grigore Cazacliu
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • commercial, institutional, hazardous and industrial wastes
  • valorization of solid waste
  • waste reduction
  • incorporation of solid wastes in different products
  • separation, concentration and recycling of products from solid waste
  • life cycle analysis and economics

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Minerals
minerals
2.5 3.9 2011 18.7 Days CHF 2400
Mining
mining
- - 2021 15 Days CHF 1000
Resources
resources
3.3 7.7 2012 23.8 Days CHF 1600
Geotechnics
geotechnics
- - 2021 15.6 Days CHF 1000

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Published Papers (24 papers)

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9 pages, 6443 KiB  
Article
Extraction of REEs from Blast Furnace Slag by Gluconobacter oxydans
by Abhilash, Sabrina Hedrich, Pratima Meshram, Axel Schippers, Ajay Gupta and Subhadra Sen
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12060701 - 31 May 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1907
Abstract
Granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) is a potential resource of rare earth elements (REEs), and due to the complex mineralogy, extraction by conventional hydrometallurgical process makes it an acid-consuming method. Bioleaching is thus investigated using a chemo-organotrophic bacterium Gluconobacter oxydans (DSMZ 46616) for [...] Read more.
Granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) is a potential resource of rare earth elements (REEs), and due to the complex mineralogy, extraction by conventional hydrometallurgical process makes it an acid-consuming method. Bioleaching is thus investigated using a chemo-organotrophic bacterium Gluconobacter oxydans (DSMZ 46616) for REE extraction from GGBFS containing 157 ppm Ce, 90 ppm La, 71 ppm Nd and 40 ppm Er, hosted in a Ca-Al-Si matrix. The gluconic acid generation by G. oxydans was assessed for its role in REE extraction from GGBFS. With 5% (w/v) GGBFS using a mixture of a non-adapted and a GGBFS-adapted culture, a maximum solubilization of 67% and 88% Nd was observed after 12 and 40 days of incubation, respectively. The total amount of gluconic acid excreted by the bacteria increased with leaching duration, which contributed to a rise in metal extraction. Scanning electron microscope-energy dispersive analysis (SEM-EDAX) analysis of the solid residue showed bacterial cells in corrosion pits, and thereby assisting in metal solubilization. Full article
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16 pages, 5151 KiB  
Article
Development of Ceramic Tiles from Philippine Nickel Laterite Mine Waste by Ceramic Casting Method
by Ivyleen C. Bernardo-Arugay, Fel Jane A. Echavez, Rae Homer L. Aquiatan, Carlito B. Tabelin, Raymond V. Rivera Virtudazo and Vannie Joy T. Resabal
Minerals 2022, 12(5), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12050579 - 3 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4620
Abstract
Siltation is the biggest environmental challenge associated with nickel laterite mining in the Philippines. The amount of silt generated is huge and one mitigation strategy currently employed by the mining companies is the construction of siltation ponds where the bulk of the clayey- [...] Read more.
Siltation is the biggest environmental challenge associated with nickel laterite mining in the Philippines. The amount of silt generated is huge and one mitigation strategy currently employed by the mining companies is the construction of siltation ponds where the bulk of the clayey- and silt-sized surface runoffs is collected. However, this poses several serious environmental hazards such as landslides due to heavy rainfall and the potential release of hazardous heavy metals. A promising approach to reduce the risks associated with long-term storage of nickel mine waste (NMW) is to employ circular economy by repurposing it for ceramic applications. While generating useful materials with economic value out of a mine waste, it will result in a reduction in volume of waste for disposal. In this study, the method employed to produce NMW-based ceramic wall and floor tiles is slip casting as it is the most appropriate method in forming tiles with complex surface features. Five formulations of NMW-based slips were made for the casting of ceramic tiles and each slip was characterized for its suitability as raw material. The results of NMW characterization show that NMW could be utilized as raw materials for both ceramic wall and floor tiles and the addition of feldspar can enhance casting and physical properties. Full article
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13 pages, 4263 KiB  
Article
Gradation Design of Phosphorus Tailing–Graded Waste Rock Subgrade Filling Using Discrete Element Method
by Zudong Liu, Jianqiu Li, Qinglin Zhao, Jiacai Wang, Taohua Liu and Qinggang Zhang
Minerals 2022, 12(5), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12050573 - 1 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1446
Abstract
The method of using silt phosphorus tailing instead of traditional sand and filler as subgrade filling has been suggested to greatly improve the comprehensive utilization of solid waste phosphorus tailing. A suitable combination of phosphorus tailing and graded waste rock can be adopted [...] Read more.
The method of using silt phosphorus tailing instead of traditional sand and filler as subgrade filling has been suggested to greatly improve the comprehensive utilization of solid waste phosphorus tailing. A suitable combination of phosphorus tailing and graded waste rock can be adopted to improve the stability of the structure of filling, which can then improve the soil properties of phosphorus tailing and prevent the formation of quicksand and landslides. In this research, a discrete element model was established by combining a graded mixing method and the concept of equivalent particle size, and the discontinuous gradation design of a phosphorus tailing–graded waste rock mixture was carried out. Using the filling coefficient, different structural types of mixture composition were verified, and the California Bearing Ratio was used to test and analyze the specimens with different mixtures, grading, and structural type. The results show that the porosity of the main skeleton calculated with the model established using the discrete element software Particle Flow Code and the porosity obtained with the tamping test fit well, with the minimum porosity of the optimal main skeleton coarse aggregate being 30.44%. At the same time, by analyzing the effect of filling the porosity of graded waste rock with different mass fractions of phosphorus tailing and by determining the California Bearing Ratio of the corresponding filling structure, it was shown that the skeleton-dense structure with the best gradation of the mixture displayed better road performance and that the phosphorus tailing–graded waste rock system with improved performance can be used as subgrade filling or in the preparation of pavement base material. Full article
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14 pages, 1893 KiB  
Article
Synthesis of Iron Nanomaterials for Environmental Applications from Hydrometallurgical Liquors
by Christiana Mystrioti, Nymphodora Papassiopi and Anthimos Xenidis
Minerals 2022, 12(5), 556; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12050556 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1410
Abstract
Hydrometallurgical leaching solutions are often rich in iron, which was traditionally considered a major impurity. However, iron can be selectively separated and recovered by applying appropriate solvent extraction and stripping techniques, and the resulting solutions can be valorized for the synthesis of high-added-value [...] Read more.
Hydrometallurgical leaching solutions are often rich in iron, which was traditionally considered a major impurity. However, iron can be selectively separated and recovered by applying appropriate solvent extraction and stripping techniques, and the resulting solutions can be valorized for the synthesis of high-added-value products, such as magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (mIONPs). The aim of this study was to synthesize high-quality mIONPs from solutions simulating the composition of two alternative stripping processes. The precursor solutions consisted of Fe(II) in an acidic sulfate environment and Fe(III) in an acidic chloride medium. The Fe(II)-SO4 solution was treated with a mixture of KNO3-KOH reagents, and the product (M(II)) was identified as pure magnetite with a high specific magnetization of 95 emu·g−1. The treatment of Fe(III)-Cl solution involved the partial reduction of Fe(III) using metallic iron and the co-precipitation of iron cations with base addition combined with microwave-assisted heating. The product (M(III)) was a powder, which consisted of two phases, e.g., maghemite (75%) and magnetite (25%), and also had a high magnetic saturation of 80 emu·g−1. The nanopowders were evaluated for their effectiveness in removing Cr(VI) from contaminated waters. The maximum adsorption capacity was found to be equal to 11.4 and 17.4 mg/g for M(II) and M(III), respectively. The magnetic nanopowders could be easily separated from treated waters, a property that makes them promising materials for the water treatment sector. Full article
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15 pages, 4690 KiB  
Article
Reduction Kinetics of Copper Slag by H2
by Baojing Zhang, Tingan Zhang and Chao Zheng
Minerals 2022, 12(5), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12050548 - 28 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2093
Abstract
In order to maximize the utilization value of copper slag, a process of smelting copper–iron alloy with copper slag is proposed here. The reduction kinetics of copper slag by H2 are studied in this paper. The main phases of the copper slag [...] Read more.
In order to maximize the utilization value of copper slag, a process of smelting copper–iron alloy with copper slag is proposed here. The reduction kinetics of copper slag by H2 are studied in this paper. The main phases of the copper slag were Fe2SiO4 and Fe3O4. The suitable conditions of reduction were a temperature of 1373.15 K, a H2 partial pressure of 40%, and a calcium oxide addition amount of 30%. In these conditions, the metal reduction ratio was 85.12%. The copper slag, after reduction, was heated to 1773.15 K for 4 h. The content of iron in the metal was 85.11%, and the copper content was 10.40%. According to the unreacted nuclear model, the reduction process of copper slag is controlled by internal diffusion and chemical reaction. With the increase of the reduction ratio, internal diffusion is the main influencing factor. The activation energy of H2 reduction copper slag is 29.107~36.082 kJ/mol, which decreases gradually with the H2 partial pressure’s increase. The metal obtained by copper slag reduction contains a certain amount of sulfur, and a desulfurization process is required before it is used. Full article
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24 pages, 9517 KiB  
Article
CO2 Curing of Ca-Rich Fly Ashes to Produce Cement-Free Building Materials
by Mustafa Cem Usta, Can Rüstü Yörük, Mai Uibu, Tiina Hain, Andre Gregor and Andres Trikkel
Minerals 2022, 12(5), 513; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12050513 - 21 Apr 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2610
Abstract
In this study, fly ash (FA) compacts were prepared by accelerated carbonation as a potential sustainable building material application with the locally available ashes (oil shale ash (OSA), wood ash (WA) and land filled oil shale ash (LFA)) of Estonia. The carbonation behaviour [...] Read more.
In this study, fly ash (FA) compacts were prepared by accelerated carbonation as a potential sustainable building material application with the locally available ashes (oil shale ash (OSA), wood ash (WA) and land filled oil shale ash (LFA)) of Estonia. The carbonation behaviour of FAs and the performance of 100% FA based compacts were evaluated based on the obtained values of CO2 uptake and compressive strength. The influence of different variables (compaction pressure, curing temperature, CO2 concentration, and pressure) on the CO2 uptake and strength development of FA compacts were investigated and the reaction kinetics of the carbonation process were tested by different reaction-order models. A reasonable relation was noted between the CO2 uptake and compressive strength of the compacts. The porous surface structure of the hydrated OSA and WA compacts was changed after carbonation due to the calcite formations (being the primary carbonation product), especially on portlandite crystals. The increase of temperature, gas pressure, and CO2 concentration improved the CO2 uptake levels of compacts. However, the positive effect of increasing compaction pressure was more apparent on the final strength of the compacts. The obtained compressive strength and CO2 uptake values of FA compacts were between 10 and 36 MPa and 11 and 13 wt%, respectively, under various operation conditions. Moreover, compacts with mixed design (OSA/LFA and WA/LFA) resulted in low-strength and density compared to the single behaviour of OSA and WA compacts, yet a higher CO2 uptake was achieved (approximately 15% mass) with mixed design. The conformity of Jander equation (3D-diffusion-limited reaction model) was higher compared to other tested reaction order models for the representation of the carbonation reaction mechanism of OSA and WA. The activation energy for OSA compact was calculated as 3.55 kJ/mol and for WA as 17.06 kJ/mol. Full article
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16 pages, 5569 KiB  
Article
A Thermodynamic and Experimental Assessment of the Recovery of Copper, Iron, Zinc, and Lead from Copper Slag
by Baojing Zhang, Tingan Zhang and Zhihe Dou
Minerals 2022, 12(5), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12050496 - 19 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2213
Abstract
With the increases in the costs of iron and copper ores, the incongruity between the significant imports of these ores into China and the ongoing accumulation of unused copper slag has greatly increased. Even so, there are few low-value methods for the utilization [...] Read more.
With the increases in the costs of iron and copper ores, the incongruity between the significant imports of these ores into China and the ongoing accumulation of unused copper slag has greatly increased. Even so, there are few low-value methods for the utilization of copper slag. The present work demonstrates the processing of this material via reduction whilst smelting wear-resistant cast iron. This system is able to recover copper, iron, zinc, and lead. The FactSage software package was used to calculate the reduction thermodynamics of the copper slag, and suitable conditions for the processing of this slag were experimentally investigated. The thermodynamic calculations indicated that copper, zinc, and lead oxides could all be readily reduced whereas the reduction of sulfides was more difficult than that of oxides. The most suitable conditions for the reduction of copper slag comprised a temperature of 1450 °C, an alkalinity of 1.2, and a reducing agent ratio of 0.225. This newly developed process was found to recover 95.49% of copper and iron from the slag along with 83.54% of lead and 98.30% of zinc. The copper-containing molten iron obtained could be used to create wear-resistant cast iron. Full article
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18 pages, 2229 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Behavior of Briquettes Made from a Mixture of Sawdust and Rice Husks for Commercialization
by Oscar Araque, Nelson Arzola and Laura Gallego
Resources 2022, 11(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11030032 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3132
Abstract
The development of this research work seeks to determine the mechanical behavior of the compacted mixture of pine sawdust and rice husk by varying the mass percentages of these biomasses obtained in briquettes, with the purpose of being marketed. The finite element software [...] Read more.
The development of this research work seeks to determine the mechanical behavior of the compacted mixture of pine sawdust and rice husk by varying the mass percentages of these biomasses obtained in briquettes, with the purpose of being marketed. The finite element software ANSYS is used to corroborate the results obtained for the samples named AIO, BIO and CIO with rice husk mass percentages of 25, 50 and 75, respectively. In the computational simulations, Young’s moduli of between 651 and 813 MPa and a Poisson’s ratio of 0.8 were found for all samples. In compression tests, Von Mises stresses of between 87 and 90 MPa and Von Mises strains between 0.09 and 0.12 m/m were found. Free-fall tests showed von Mises stresses below 4.24 MPa. It was determined that increasing the percentage of rice husk mass in the simulation models increased the value of Young’s modulus and compressive strength, this is a positive indication in relation to the strength of the formed briquettes, in case they are required to be transported for commercial purposes, however no defined stress and strain behavior was obtained for the impact tests, since the heights of 2 m and 5 m together with the masses established for the specimens do not cause high impact forces. Full article
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17 pages, 3475 KiB  
Article
An Integrated Capture of Red Mud and One-Step Heat-Treatment Process to Recover Platinum Group Metals and Prepare Glass-Ceramics from Spent Auto-Catalysts
by Chuan Liu, Shuchen Sun, Ganfeng Tu and Faxin Xiao
Minerals 2022, 12(3), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12030360 - 15 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2097
Abstract
Co-treatment for two kinds of hazardous solid waste is an effective method to reduce cost and increase recycle efficiency of value resource. This work developed an integrated process based on capture of red mud (RM) and a one-step heat-treatment process to efficiently recover [...] Read more.
Co-treatment for two kinds of hazardous solid waste is an effective method to reduce cost and increase recycle efficiency of value resource. This work developed an integrated process based on capture of red mud (RM) and a one-step heat-treatment process to efficiently recover PGMs from spent auto-catalysts (SAC) and reuse RM simultaneously. Firstly, the iron oxide in RM was reduced to metallic iron to capture PGMs by the reduction process, without the addition of an extra reducing agent, since SAC contained abundant organic volatiles. Then, the mixed waste of SAC and RM was melted under high temperature with additives of CaO and H3BO3. More than 99% of PGMs can be extracted under the optimal conditions of 40–50 wt% of RM addition, 14 wt% of H3BO3 addition, 0.7–0.8 of basicity, 1500 °C of temperature, and 40 min of holding time. In addition, PGM content in obtained glassy slag was less than 1 g/t. The mechanism of iron trapping PGMs was also discussed in detailed, which mainly contained two stages: migration of PGMs and separation of PGM-bearing alloy and slag phases. Besides, the obtained glassy slag was further prepared into glass-ceramic by a one-step heat-treatment process. It was found that the prepared glass-ceramic has good thermostability and an excellent stabilizing effect on heavy metals. Overall, the results indicated that the developed integrated smelting–collection process is an efficient and promising method for the reutilization of SAC and RM. Full article
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13 pages, 3559 KiB  
Article
Kinetic Analysis of Recovering Zinc from Electric Arc Furnace Dust by Vacuum Carbothermic Reduction at 20 Pa
by Shaobo Ma, Zhaohui Zhang, Xiangdong Xing, Shuxiang Xu and Xintao Li
Minerals 2022, 12(2), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12020261 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1785
Abstract
Electric arc furnace dust (EAFD) presents a contamination hazard due to its heavy metal leachability. The traditional disposal methods of landfill or stacking not only pose a threat to the environment but also waste metal resources. This paper adopted vacuum carbothermic reduction to [...] Read more.
Electric arc furnace dust (EAFD) presents a contamination hazard due to its heavy metal leachability. The traditional disposal methods of landfill or stacking not only pose a threat to the environment but also waste metal resources. This paper adopted vacuum carbothermic reduction to dispose of EAFD and the zinc metal could be obtained as a product. The reduction ratios of the EAFD were carried out under various reaction temperatures and times at 20 Pa. Furthermore, the kinetics of the reduction process was also studied. The reduction ratio of the reaction process can be facilitated through increasing the temperature or lengthening the time and can reach up to 99.6% under the condition of 1373 K with 60 min. The zinc ferrite and zinc oxide were reduced first and then iron oxide reduction occurred. The reduction process could be divided into three stages: Stage 1 involved the direct reduction of zinc ferrite and zinc oxide, and the control step was the phase boundary reaction with the apparent activation energy of 48.54 kJ/mol; Stage 2 involved the reduction of zinc oxide and iron oxide, and the control step was also the phase boundary reaction with the apparent activation energy of 56.27 kJ/mol; Stage 3 involved the escape of gas phase products and the control step was diffusion with the apparent activation energy of 105.3 kJ/mol. Full article
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19 pages, 4025 KiB  
Article
Orthogonal Test Design for the Optimization of Preparation of Steel Slag-Based Carbonated Building Materials with Ultramafic Tailings as Fine Aggregates
by Jiajie Li, Chengzhou Wang, Wen Ni, Sitao Zhu, Shilong Mao, Fuxing Jiang, Hui Zeng, Xikui Sun, Bingxiang Huang and Michel Hitch
Minerals 2022, 12(2), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12020246 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2469
Abstract
The high carbonation potential makes ultramafic tailings ideal aggregates for carbonated building materials. This paper investigates the preparation condition of ultramafic tailings and steel slag through orthogonal experiments. The results show that compressive strength has a positive exponential correlation with the CO2 [...] Read more.
The high carbonation potential makes ultramafic tailings ideal aggregates for carbonated building materials. This paper investigates the preparation condition of ultramafic tailings and steel slag through orthogonal experiments. The results show that compressive strength has a positive exponential correlation with the CO2 uptake of the carbonated compacts. The optimized conditions include a slag-tailings ratio of 5:5, a carbonation time of 12 h, a grinding time of 0 min, and a water-solid ratio of 2.5:10, when the compressive strength of the carbonated compacts reaches 29 MPa and the CO2 uptake reaches 66.5 mg CO2/g. The effects on the compressive strength ordered from high to low impact are the slag/tailings ratio, carbonation time, grinding time of steel slag, and water–solid ratio. The effects on the CO2 uptake ordered from high to low impact are the slag–tailings ratio, water–solid ratio, carbonation time, and grinding time of steel slag. A high water–solid ratio hinders the early carbonation reactions, but promotes the long-term carbonation reaction. Steel slag is the main material being carbonated and contributes to the hardening of the compacts through carbonation curing at room temperature. Ultramafic tailings assist steel slag in hardening through minor carbonation and provide fibrous contents. The obtained results lay a solid foundation for the development of tailings-steel slag carbonated materials. Full article
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16 pages, 7981 KiB  
Article
Extraction of Aluminum and Iron Ions from Coal Gangue by Acid Leaching and Kinetic Analyses
by Deshun Kong, Zihan Zhou, Rongli Jiang, Shuojiang Song, Shan Feng and Minglei Lian
Minerals 2022, 12(2), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12020215 - 7 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2551
Abstract
Extracting valuable elements from coal gangue is an important method for the utilization of coal gangue. In order to obtain the suitable technological conditions and the acid leaching kinetic model of leaching aluminum and iron ions from high-iron and low-aluminum coal gangue, the [...] Read more.
Extracting valuable elements from coal gangue is an important method for the utilization of coal gangue. In order to obtain the suitable technological conditions and the acid leaching kinetic model of leaching aluminum and iron ions from high-iron and low-aluminum coal gangue, the effects of calcination temperature, calcination time, and acid types on the leaching results of aluminum and iron ions are studied. The results show that when the gangue is calcined at 675 °C for 1 h, then the calcined gangue powder is leached by 6 mol/L hydrochloric acid at 93 °C for 4 h, the leaching ratio of iron ions is more than 90%, and that of aluminum ions is more than 60%. Furthermore, the acid leaching kinetic equations at 30 °C, 50 °C, 70 °C, and 90 °C are studied by three kinetic models, and the apparent activation energies of the reactions are calculated by the Arrhenius formula. The results show that the leaching behavior of aluminum and iron ions conformed to the “mixing control” model equation: “(1 − x)−1/3 − 1 + 1/3ln(1 − x) = kt + b”. The apparent activation energies of aluminum and iron ions are 55.5 kJ/mol and 55.8 kJ/mol, respectively. All these indicate that the acid leaching process is controlled by the “mixing control”. Full article
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8 pages, 974 KiB  
Communication
Multi-Step Recycling of BF Slag Heat via Biomass for CO2 Mitigation
by Felix Firsbach, Dieter Senk and Alexander Babich
Minerals 2022, 12(2), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12020136 - 25 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2620
Abstract
Iron- and steelmaking processes create slags, valuable by-products. Industrial utilisation of slag as a lower-value secondary mineral source has been established for decades. Slag heat recovery is an ongoing research topic and has the potential to maximise energy efficiency in iron and steel [...] Read more.
Iron- and steelmaking processes create slags, valuable by-products. Industrial utilisation of slag as a lower-value secondary mineral source has been established for decades. Slag heat recovery is an ongoing research topic and has the potential to maximise energy efficiency in iron and steel production. Heat recuperation aims to tap the unused thermal recycling potential of molten slags. This short communication expands the concept for the utilisation of recovered heat for producing torrefied biomass and biogas. The torrefaction process is linked with slag heat recovery and via the BASE method with enhanced blast furnace operation. Such a combination reduces CO2 emissions significantly in ironmaking processes. Assuming a coke consumption of 350 kg coke per tonne of hot metal and replacing it with 5% torrefied biomass injected as PC with an additional 100 m3/tHM biogas injection, the BF’s CO2 emission related to the coke can be lowered by 7.9% to 108 kg/tHM. In such a manner, the recovered slag heat can directly contribute to CO2-footprint reduction and improve the circular economy and metallurgical sustainability. Full article
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18 pages, 7863 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Metallurgical Slags as Solar Heat Absorber Particles
by Gözde Alkan, Peter Mechnich, Hugo Lucas, Nicole Knoblauch, Marcus Sommerfeld, Ferdinand Flucht, Johannes Pernpeintner, Dmitry Sergeev, Michael Müller and Bernd Friedrich
Minerals 2022, 12(2), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12020121 - 21 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2488
Abstract
The use of ceramic solid particle technology in TES-integrated CSP plants offers a high solar-to-electricity ratio and enhanced storage densities, thanks to their high operational temperatures and wide temperature ranges. Metallurgical slags with composition similar to that of the state-of-art bauxite particles can [...] Read more.
The use of ceramic solid particle technology in TES-integrated CSP plants offers a high solar-to-electricity ratio and enhanced storage densities, thanks to their high operational temperatures and wide temperature ranges. Metallurgical slags with composition similar to that of the state-of-art bauxite particles can be used as a sustainable and economical secondary raw material to prepare solid particles. In this study, the as-received state and the high-temperature phase and microstructural changes of two fayalite slags from copper and lead production were elucidated by XRD and SEM/EDS methods in a comparative manner. Solid particles were prepared from slags by the oil dropping method, with subsequent heat treatment. Solar-thermal-application-related functional properties of slag particles, such as heat capacity, absorptance, and thermophysical properties, were evaluated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), spectrophotometer, heating microscope, and high-temperature compressive tests, respectively. Owing to the formation of more stable Fe-rich phase components and less amount of glassy phase, copper slag is found to be a more promising secondary resource than lead slag in terms of material and functional properties. Full article
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14 pages, 3364 KiB  
Article
Bioleaching Process for Copper Extraction from Waste in Alkaline and Acid Medium
by Ivica Ristović, Darina Štyriaková, Iveta Štyriaková, Jaroslav Šuba and Emilija Širadović
Minerals 2022, 12(1), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12010100 - 15 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4317
Abstract
Flotation wastes are becoming a valuable secondary raw material and source of many metals and semimetals worldwide with the possibilities of industrial recycling. The flotation tailings contain oxide and sulfide minerals that have not been sufficiently stabilized and form acidic mine waters, which [...] Read more.
Flotation wastes are becoming a valuable secondary raw material and source of many metals and semimetals worldwide with the possibilities of industrial recycling. The flotation tailings contain oxide and sulfide minerals that have not been sufficiently stabilized and form acidic mine waters, which in turn contaminate groundwater, rivers, and reservoi6sediments. An effective way to recycle these mine wastes is to recover the metals through leaching. While the focus is on acid bioleaching by iron- and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria, alkaline leaching, and the removal of iron-containing surface coatings on sulfide minerals contribute significantly to the overall environmental efficiency of leaching. For this study, static and percolate bioleaching of copper from flotation waste at the Bor copper mine in Serbia was investigated in alkaline and then acidic environments. The aim of the study was to verify the effect of alkaline pH and nutrient stimulation on the bioleaching process and element extraction. A sample was taken from a mine waste site, which was characterized by XRF analyses. The concentration of leached copper was increased when copper oxide minerals dissolved during alkaline bioleaching. The highest copper yield during alkaline bioleaching was achieved after 9 days and reached 67%. The addition of nutrients in acidic medium enhanced the degradation of sulfide minerals and increased Cu recovery to 74%, while Fe and Ag recoveries were not significantly affected. Combined bioleaching with alkaline media and iron- and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria in acidic media should be a good reference for ecological Cu recovery from copper oxide and sulfide wastes. Full article
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23 pages, 7219 KiB  
Review
The Use of Recycled and Secondary Aggregates to Achieve a Circular Economy within Geotechnical Engineering
by Lisa Perkins, Alexander C. D. Royal, Ian Jefferson and Colin D. Hills
Geotechnics 2021, 1(2), 416-438; https://doi.org/10.3390/geotechnics1020020 - 11 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4255
Abstract
The construction industry’s current dependence on primary aggregates is unsustainable as these are non-renewable resources and the consumption of these materials has a high environmental impact. The global annual production of primary aggregates is estimated to be 50 billion tonnes. In Europe, where [...] Read more.
The construction industry’s current dependence on primary aggregates is unsustainable as these are non-renewable resources and the consumption of these materials has a high environmental impact. The global annual production of primary aggregates is estimated to be 50 billion tonnes. In Europe, where 2 billion tonnes of primary aggregates are produced annually, approximately 90% of aggregates are utilised by the construction industry, whilst over 1 Gt of waste are sent to landfill; in the UK, 44% of landfilled waste arises from the construction industry. The drive to adopt a circular economy necessitates changes in resource use (including non-renewable aggregates). Recycling wastes, such as aggregates, could help this situation; whilst this concept is not new, it does not appear to have been widely embraced in geotechnical engineering. The aim of this paper is to highlight the benefits of increasing the use of alternative aggregates as this would enable the reserves of primary aggregates to be better maintained and less material would be landfilled—a win-win situation and a contributing step towards developing a truly circular economy. Full article
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18 pages, 3370 KiB  
Article
Modified Red Muds and Slag Based Hydraulic Binders for Zn Removal: A Matrix-Spiking Approach Applied on Clayey Sediments
by Adoum Mahamat Ahmat, Walid Maherzi, Claude Le Milbeau, Mahfoud Benzerzour and Nor-Edine Abriak
Minerals 2021, 11(11), 1189; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11111189 - 27 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1554
Abstract
Dredging sediments can be implemented as primary resources in several civil engineering applications, on the condition that the release of anthropogenic compounds meets environmental requirements. The remediation of sedimentary wastes constitutes therefore, a key step before valorization consideration in circular economy schemes. This [...] Read more.
Dredging sediments can be implemented as primary resources in several civil engineering applications, on the condition that the release of anthropogenic compounds meets environmental requirements. The remediation of sedimentary wastes constitutes therefore, a key step before valorization consideration in circular economy schemes. This study focused on Zn removal from clayey river sediments dredged in northern France (Lille, Saint-Omer and Aire-Sur-La Lys) using a Thermo-Evolved Red Mud (TERM) and a Slag Based Hydraulic Binder (SBHB). The first step consisted in investigating Zn-trapping mechanisms prior to TERM and SBHB application as Zn-stabilizers. Results underlined poorer metal retention within the most organic sediment (high fatty acids and polycyclic aromatic molecules concentrations), emphasizing the minor role of the organic fraction typology during Zn-trapping. The pollutant displayed its best binding yields within the sediment with the highest interstitial pH and specific areas, which stressed out the preponderant influence of alkalinization ability and particles size distribution. In a second step, the spiked sediments were treated with TERM and SBHB, which resulted in a substantial lowering of Zn release at 12% of stabilizer/sediment ratio. Even though the organic content role was not preeminent during the pollutant trapping, it appeared here influential as delays in removal efficiencies were observed for the most endowed sediment. Two preferential geochemical pathways were adopted during the remediation operations with significant promotive roles of basic background pH. Indeed, Zn removal with TERM consisted mainly in sorptive mechanisms involving exchanges with Ca and Mg ions, whereas binding onto SBHB was principally achieved through precipitation phenomena. Full article
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12 pages, 3537 KiB  
Article
The Alkaline Fusion-Hydrothermal Synthesis of Hydroxyapatite-Zeolite (HAP-ZE) from Blast Furnace Slag (BFS): Effects of Reaction Temperature
by Changxin Li, Xiang Li, Qingwu Zhang, Li Li and Shuai Wang
Minerals 2021, 11(11), 1160; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11111160 - 21 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1642
Abstract
This study was performed to investigate the effects of reaction temperature on the alkaline fusion-hydrothermal preparation of hydroxyapatite-zeolite (HAP-ZE) using blast furnace slag (BFS) as raw material. Firstly, HAP-ZE samples were obtained under various reaction temperatures; then the analysis was carried out utilizing [...] Read more.
This study was performed to investigate the effects of reaction temperature on the alkaline fusion-hydrothermal preparation of hydroxyapatite-zeolite (HAP-ZE) using blast furnace slag (BFS) as raw material. Firstly, HAP-ZE samples were obtained under various reaction temperatures; then the analysis was carried out utilizing XRD, FT-IR, BET/BJH, XRF, FE-SEM and EDX. The results reflect that the optimum reaction temperature for preparing HAP-ZE from blast furnace slag (BFS) using alkaline fusion-hydrothermal treatment is around 100 °C. The HAP-ZE synthesized at 100 °C had the largest specific surface area (SSA) value. Under 100 °C aging, the main phases in HAP-ZE were zeolite and HAP with the average SSA is 44.22 m2·g−1. Molar ratio of Ca/P, Si/Al and Na/Al is 1.61, 1.31, 1.75, respectively. Additionally, HAP-ZE crystals with a diameter of about 500 nm form an open frame structure with coral surface morphology could be clearly observed at 100 °C. The observed surface morphology feature agrees well with that for HAP-ZE previously reported, again elucidating the successful formation of HAP-ZE. Full article
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14 pages, 4626 KiB  
Article
Coupled Thermodynamics and Phase Diagram Analysis of Gas-Duct Concretion Formation in Pyro-Processing Ironmaking and Steelmaking Dust
by Daya Wang, Shaoguang Hua, Liushun Wu, Kunlong Liu and Haichuan Wang
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1125; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101125 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1472
Abstract
In recent years, the steel industry has accumulated approximately 100 million tons of dust annually, severely threatening the environment. Rotary kiln technology is one of the main industrial methods used to process this dust. However, some substances in flue gas congeal on the [...] Read more.
In recent years, the steel industry has accumulated approximately 100 million tons of dust annually, severely threatening the environment. Rotary kiln technology is one of the main industrial methods used to process this dust. However, some substances in flue gas congeal on the cooling wall of the gas duct and seriously affect production. In this study, the properties and formation mechanisms of the coagulum were investigated on the basis of experimental and thermodynamic analyses. The experimental results showed that the coagulum is mainly composed of chlorides (KCl, NaCl, and ZnCl2), oxides (ZnO, FeO), and carbon, with three structures: lumps, fibers, and particles. Based on a thermodynamic analysis, a reasonable explanation was proposed to clarify the formation mechanism. The liquid phase (a eutectic system of KCl–NaCl–ZnCl2), dendrites (KCl, NaCl), and particles (ZnO, FeO, C) were found to act as binders, stiffeners, and aggregates in the coagulum, respectively, constituting a composite structure. Liquids acting as binders are essential for coagulum formation, and dendrites and particles strengthen this effect. Furthermore, the eutectic system of chlorides plays a crucial role in coagulum formation. The results of the present study offer a theoretical understanding of gas-duct coagulation and will provide guidance for adopting alleviation measures. Full article
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14 pages, 3561 KiB  
Article
Recovery of Valuable Metals from Nickel Smelting Slag Based on Reduction and Sulfurization Modification
by Wei Sun, Xiong Li, Runqing Liu, Qilin Zhai and Jie Li
Minerals 2021, 11(9), 1022; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11091022 - 19 Sep 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4112
Abstract
Nickel smelting slag contains valuable metals including nickel and copper. Failure to recycle these metals wastes resources, and disposal of nickel slag in stockpiles results in environmental pollution. Nickel slag recycling is important, and metals can be recovered from slag by flotation. However, [...] Read more.
Nickel smelting slag contains valuable metals including nickel and copper. Failure to recycle these metals wastes resources, and disposal of nickel slag in stockpiles results in environmental pollution. Nickel slag recycling is important, and metals can be recovered from slag by flotation. However, considering the complex forms in which valuable metals occur in nickel slag, high yields are difficult to achieve by direct flotation. In this study, nickel slag was modified by reduction and sulfurization to render it more amenable to metal recovery through flotation. The mechanism was assessed based on thermodynamics and elements’ phase distributions. Thermodynamic analyses indicated the feasibility of nickel slag modification by reduction–sulfurization smelting. The results of chemical phase analysis show that the forms in which valuable metals occur in nickel slag can be modified by reduction–sulfurization, and the proportion of metals existing in sulfide and free metal states in nickel slag can be increased. Compared with the direct flotation of raw slag, the recovery of nickel and copper from top-blowing slag increased by 23.03% and 14.63%, respectively. The recoveries of nickel and copper from settling slag increased by 49.68% and 43.65%, respectively. Full article
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18 pages, 6916 KiB  
Article
Development of a Physical Separation Route for the Concentration of Base Metals from Old Wasted Printed Circuit Boards
by Pedro Jorge Walburga Keglevich de Buzin, Weslei Monteiro Ambrós, Irineu Antônio Schadach de Brum, Rejane Maria Candiota Tubino, Carlos Hoffmann Sampaio and Josep Oliva Moncunill
Minerals 2021, 11(9), 1014; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11091014 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2118
Abstract
Wastes from old electronic devices represent a significant part of the electronic scrap generated in developing countries, being commonly sold by collectors as low-value material to recycling hubs abroad. Upgrading the quality of this waste type could drive the revenue of recyclers, and [...] Read more.
Wastes from old electronic devices represent a significant part of the electronic scrap generated in developing countries, being commonly sold by collectors as low-value material to recycling hubs abroad. Upgrading the quality of this waste type could drive the revenue of recyclers, and thus, boost the recycling market. On this basis, this study investigated the possibility of concentrating metals from old wasted printed circuit boards through a physical separation-based route. Preparation of samples comprised fragmentation, size classification, density, and magnetic separation steps, followed by chemical and macro composition analysis. Cu, Al, Fe, and Sn constituted the major metals encountered in the scraps, including some peak concentrations of Zn, Sb, Pb, Ba, and Mn. Four distinct concentrate products could be obtained after suitable processing: (a) a light fraction composed of plastics and resins; (b) an aluminum concentrate; (c) a magnetic material concentrate, containing mainly iron; (d) a final concentrate containing more than 50% in mass of copper and enriched with nonferrous metals. Preliminary evidence showed that further processes, like the separation of copper wires through drumming, can potentially improve the effectiveness of the proposed processing circuit and should guide future works. Full article
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16 pages, 4143 KiB  
Article
Effect of Fly Ash on the Mechanical Properties and Microstructure of Cement-Stabilized Materials with 100% Recycled Mixed Aggregates
by Tao Meng, Dawang Dai, Xiufen Yang and Hongming Yu
Minerals 2021, 11(9), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11090992 - 10 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1682
Abstract
The use of recycled mixed aggregates (RMA) in cement-stabilized materials (CSM) is an effective way to dispose of and reuse demolition waste. However, this approach faces various challenges; for example, the drying shrinkage of CSM with 100% RMA is very high, which is [...] Read more.
The use of recycled mixed aggregates (RMA) in cement-stabilized materials (CSM) is an effective way to dispose of and reuse demolition waste. However, this approach faces various challenges; for example, the drying shrinkage of CSM with 100% RMA is very high, which is unfavorable for use in road engineering. In order to use a simple method to reduce the drying shrinkage of the CSM with 100% RMA and give it reliable strength, the effect of fly ash on the mechanical properties, drying shrinkage, and abrasion resistance of CSM with 100% RMA was investigated in this study, and the mechanism was examined by X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry (MIP), and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). The results revealed that the addition of fly ash would decrease the drying shrinkage of CSM with 100% RMA. Moreover, when the amount of fly ash was less than 20%, the later strength increased remarkably despite the slight decrease in the early unconfined compressive strength, indirect tensile strength, compressive and splitting elastic modulus, and abrasion resistance of CSM with 100% RMA. The microstructure analysis results indicated that fly ash increased the decline range of diffraction intensity of C2S and C3S at a later age and also helped to optimize the pore structure. Research results of this article can be used to optimize the mechanical properties of CSM with 100% RMA and guide its application in road base. Full article
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14 pages, 1981 KiB  
Article
Construction and Demolition Waste Recycling through Conventional Jig, Air Jig, and Sensor-Based Sorting: A Comparison
by Carlos Hoffmann Sampaio, Weslei Monteiro Ambrós, Bogdan Grigore Cazacliu, Josep Oliva Moncunill, Moacir Medeiros Veras, Gérson Luis Miltzarek, Luis F. O. Silva, Ariane Salvador Kuerten and Maria Alejandra Liendo
Minerals 2021, 11(8), 904; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11080904 - 21 Aug 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3600
Abstract
The paper presents a comparison of the concentration methods conventional jig, air jig, and sensor-based sorting to treat construction and demolition waste. All tests were made with concrete, brick, and gypsum particles and the tests aim to separate these materials into different size [...] Read more.
The paper presents a comparison of the concentration methods conventional jig, air jig, and sensor-based sorting to treat construction and demolition waste. All tests were made with concrete, brick, and gypsum particles and the tests aim to separate these materials into different size ranges, depending on the method. The equipment tested, conventional jig, air jig, and sensor-based sorting present good results to concentrate construction and demolition waste particles, with different concentrations and mass recoveries. The results show particularly good mass recoveries and particle concentration for conventional jig, especially for concrete and gypsum particles. Sensor-based sorting should preferably use concentration circuits for best results. Full article
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13 pages, 3108 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Demolished Concretes with Three Different Strengths for Recycling as Coarse Aggregate
by Carlos Hoffmann Sampaio, Bogdan Grigore Cazacliu, Weslei Monteiro Ambrós, Márcio André Kronbauer, Rejane M. C. Tubino, Denise C. C. Dal Molin, Josep Oliva Moncunill, Gérson L. Miltzarek, Regis P. Waskow, Viviane L. G. dos Santos and Luis F. O. Silva
Minerals 2021, 11(8), 803; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11080803 - 26 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2529
Abstract
This paper presents a physical characterization for the recycling into new concretes of three comminuted concretes: C16/20 (“ordinary concrete”), C50/60 (“high strength concrete”), and C70/85 (“very high strength concrete”). The top size of the crushed concretes was 19.1 mm and the size range [...] Read more.
This paper presents a physical characterization for the recycling into new concretes of three comminuted concretes: C16/20 (“ordinary concrete”), C50/60 (“high strength concrete”), and C70/85 (“very high strength concrete”). The top size of the crushed concretes was 19.1 mm and the size range was 4.75 to 19.1 mm. The characterization was carried out with coarse aggregate liberation, to be prepared and concentrated in a gravity concentration process. The density distribution of the coarse aggregate, cement paste, and sand was carried out in different size ranges (4.75/19.1 mm; 4.75/8.0 mm; 8.0/12.5 mm; and 12.5/19.1 mm) for the three concretes studied. The form factor of the samples, as well as the porosity determination of particles in different density ranges, are presented. The obtained results indicate that the coarse aggregate liberation was more intensive for the low resistance concrete (C16/20), but a reasonable coarse aggregate recovery is possible for all concretes. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Title: Recycling of demolished concretes from construction and demolition waste as coarse aggregate in new concretes
Authors: Hoffmann, C.S., Ambrós, W., Cazacliu, B. et al.

2. Title: Gravity-separation based routes for metals recovery from printed circuit boards
Authors: Buzzin, P., Ambrós, W., Hoffmann, C.S., Cazacliu, B. et al.

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