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A new integrated sustainable processing system for ‘metal from slag’ recovery with higher technical, economic, energy and environmental performance than existing recovery processes.

Objective

Slag is a by-product of metal smelting, and ~3.5 million tpa are produced globally in refining Non Ferrous Metals (NFM) and making alloys. Slag contains impurities and forms a protective crust of non-metallic & metallic oxides, and contains significant ‘free’ & alloyed metal (from 10 to 70% by weight). While slag can be used as aggregate, there are increasing concerns over ‘leaching’ of heavy metals into water courses from using these materials in civil engineering. While some metal can be recovered by re-melting slag (at very high temp), this is extremely expensive with very high energy burden which often makes recovery un-economic, but necessary. Landfill of slag is increasingly not an option. Our idea is to use a relatively new technology called ‘implosion’ to selectively break down and separate non-metallic components of slag from metallic particles. This will be combined with ultrasonic vibration sieving for accelerated recovery of metal from the finest fraction. This novel technology was originally developed to recycle waste glass by reducing it to fine ‘sand’, with uniform size and no ‘sharps’ compared to normal crushing techniques. This technology has not been applied commercially to other materials. Benefits to partners, endusers & society could be:
• Rapid recovery of more metal from slag at relatively low cost
• Strategic control of metal recovered rather than losing control thro’ export to ‘low cost’ economies
• Enable smelters to recycle slag in-house, increasing their ‘Value Add’ while reducing ‘recycle-miles’
• 97% energy saving thro’ low cost mechanical separation rather than very high temp. melt recycling
• Huge cut in carbon emissions from thermal energy saved and ‘recycle-miles’ saved

The ultimate goal is to launch a new process in the market, through an innovative application of a relatively new technology to selectively break down the non-metallic components of slag from the metallic particles.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/theoretical physics/particles

Call for proposal

H2020-SMEINST-1-2014
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

SME-1 - SME instrument phase 1

Coordinator

ULTROMEX LTD
Address
Mersey Wharf Business Park Dock Road South Wirral
CH62 4SF Merseyside
United Kingdom
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 50 000