Special Issue "Challenges in the Development of Sustainable Extractive Metallurgy Processes"

A special issue of Metals (ISSN 2075-4701).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Alexandre Chagnes
Website
Guest Editor
University of Lorraine, GeoRessources Lab, UMR CNRS 7359, 2 Rue Doyen Marcel Roubault, TSA 70605, F-54518 Vandoeuvre Les Nancy, France
Interests: hydrometallurgy; electrochemistry of lithium–ion batteries; solution chemistry; recycling
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Aleksandra Rybak
Website
Guest Editor
Silesian University of Technology, Faculty of Chemistry, 9 Strzody, 44-100 Gliwice, Poland
Interests: element speciation analysis; environmental protection; inorganic chemistry; metal recovery from industrial wastes; REEs; hybrid inorganic-organic membranes; membrane separation
Dr. Aurelia Rybak
Website
Guest Editor
Silesian University of Technology, Faculty of Mining, Safety Engineering and Industrial Automation, 2 Akademicka, 44-100 Gliwice, Poland
Interests: environmental protection; metal recovery from industrial wastes; REEs; trade

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The development of new technologies and the increasing demand of mineral resources from emerging countries are responsible for significant tensions on the price of nonferrous metals. Some metals become strategic and critical because they are used in many technological applications, and their availability remains limited. In addition to energetic raw materials like oil or gas, the industry uses about fifty different metals. For many of them, the worldwide annual consumption ranges from a few tens of tons to several hundred thousand tons. Some of them, the so-called strategic metals, are crucial for achieving high performances. They are found in high-tech products such as flat panel TVs (indium), solar panel cells (indium), lithium–ion batteries for electric vehicles (lithium), magnets (rare earths such as neodymium and dysprosium), scintillators (rare earths), and aviation and medical applications (titanium). The secured supply of these metals is crucial to continue producing and exporting their technologies and because specific properties of these metals make them essential and difficult to substitute for a given industrial application.

Many challenges have to be addressed to ensure a sustainable supply of raw materials for our industries. These challenges are not only related to technology but also societal and territory aspects. Two routes can be implemented to recover metals from primary (mining) and secondary (recycling, residues) resources: pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy. A third route consists in combining pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical operations in a unique process in order to take advantage of both approaches. In all cases, these processes must be efficient, cheap while keeping an as low as possible CAPEX and OPEX.

This Special Issue aims at gathering recent advances in the field of extractive metallurgy applied to metal valorization contained in primary and secondary resources and to the development of technologies aiming at reducing effluent production and effluent impact on environment. Recent studies on societal and environmental impacts of extractive metallurgy as well as economics of processes are also of interest for this Special Issue.

Prof. Alexandre Chagnes
Dr. Aleksandra Rybak
Dr. Aurelia Rybak
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Metals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 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

  • extractive metallurgy
  • mining
  • recycling
  • residues
  • effluent
  • environmental impact
  • economics
  • societal impact
  • processes

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Fe(III) Precipitation and Copper Loss from Sulphate-Chloride Solutions at 150 °C: A Statistical Approach
Metals 2020, 10(5), 669; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10050669 - 20 May 2020
Abstract
The purification of hydrometallurgical process solutions by Fe(III) precipitation is a common and large-scale industrial operation. This step is notorious for valuable metal loss occurring with the iron precipitation product, which is usually directed to tailings. In this study, factors affecting Fe(III) precipitation [...] Read more.
The purification of hydrometallurgical process solutions by Fe(III) precipitation is a common and large-scale industrial operation. This step is notorious for valuable metal loss occurring with the iron precipitation product, which is usually directed to tailings. In this study, factors affecting Fe(III) precipitation and associated copper loss were studied in synthetic process solutions using statistical methods. The variables studied were: Initial acid concentration, retention time, seed addition, and initial Fe(III), Cu(II), and chloride concentrations. The importance of each variable and its interaction effects were studied against two responses, i.e., percent of Fe(III) precipitated as hematite and percent of Cu lost to solids. The results showed that a combination of high acid and moderate seeding was required to simultaneously achieve high proportions of Fe(III) precipitated as hematite and lower copper loss to the precipitates. High acid concentrations create low supersaturation for Fe(III), which minimizes the consequences of homogeneous nucleation and favors particle growth. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Recovery of Metal Values from Ni-Cd Cake Waste Residue of an Iranian Zinc Plant by Hydrometallurgical Route
Metals 2020, 10(5), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10050655 - 19 May 2020
Abstract
This paper concerns the development of an environment-friendly hydrometallurgical flowsheet dedicated to the recovery of zinc and nickel from a waste residue collected from an Iranian zinc plant. In particular, valuable metals from Ni-Cd cake waste generated at this plant were recovered by [...] Read more.
This paper concerns the development of an environment-friendly hydrometallurgical flowsheet dedicated to the recovery of zinc and nickel from a waste residue collected from an Iranian zinc plant. In particular, valuable metals from Ni-Cd cake waste generated at this plant were recovered by a simple hydrometallurgical process using minimum acid for leaching, and solvent extraction step was designed such that addition of sodium hydroxide was not required and the effluent generated is safe to dispose off. The waste was leached with a mixture of hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid in the presence of hydrogen peroxide in order to achieve a good selectivity towards iron and calcium. Afterwards, cementation was performed at pH 5 in order to remove cadmium. Liquid–liquid extraction was then implemented to produce high-purity solutions of zinc and nickel. Zinc-nickel separation was obtained at pH 2 by using a mixture of bis-(2-ehtyl-hexyl)-phosphoric acid (HDEHP) and tris-2-ethylhexyl amine (TEHA) diluted in an aliphatic kerosene. TEHA did not directly participate but helped in the extraction of zinc by scavenging the protons released by HDEHP. Therefore, no alkaline solution was necessary for maintaining the equilibrium pH during liquid–liquid extraction. Finally, this flowsheet allowed to recover more than 95% of zinc and nickel from the residue with more than 99% purity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tantalum Recycling by Solvent Extraction: Chloride Is Better than Fluoride
Metals 2020, 10(3), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10030346 - 06 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The recycling of tantalum (Ta) is becoming increasingly important due to the criticality of its supply from a conflict mineral. It is used extensively in modern electronics, such as in capacitors, and so electronic waste is a potentially valuable secondary source of this [...] Read more.
The recycling of tantalum (Ta) is becoming increasingly important due to the criticality of its supply from a conflict mineral. It is used extensively in modern electronics, such as in capacitors, and so electronic waste is a potentially valuable secondary source of this metal. However, the recycling of Ta is difficult, not least because of the challenges of its leaching and subsequent separation from other metals. In this work, we show that Ta(V) halides, such as TaCl5 and TaF5, which can potentially be accessed from Ta metal upon acid halide leaching, can be recovered by solvent extraction using a simple primary amide reagent. The need for high halide concentrations in the aqueous phase implies the formation of the hexahalide salts [TaX6] (X = F, Cl) and that an anion-swing mechanism operates. While extraction of the fluorides is poor (up to 45%), excellent extraction under chloride conditions is found (>99%) and presents an alternative route to Ta recycling. 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.

Title: Tantalum recycling by solvent extraction: chloride is better than fluoride.
Authors: L. M. M. Kinsman, R. Crevecoeur, A. Singh-Morgan, C. A. Morrison, J. B. Love
Affiliation: EaStCHEM School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh Joseph Black Building (Room 282), David Brewster Road, The King’s Buildings, Edinburgh EH9 3FJ, UK.
Abstract: The recycling of tantalum is becoming increasingly important due to its criticality of supply from a conflict mineral. It is used extensively in modern electronics, such as in capacitors, and so electronic waste is a potential secondary source. However, the recycling of Ta is difficult, not least through issues of leaching and subsequent separation from other components. In this report, we show that Ta halides such as TaCl5 and TaF5, derived from Ta metal, can be recovered by solvent extraction from HCl solution using simple primary amide reagents. The need for high halide leach concentrations implies the formation of the hexahalide salts [TaX6]- (X = F, Cl) and that an anion-exchange mechanism operates. While extraction of the fluorides is poor, excellent extraction under chloride conditions is found, and presents an alternative route to Ta recycling.

Title: Fe(III) precipitation and copper loss from sulphate-chloride solutions at 150 °C: A statistical approach
Authors: Tasawar Javeda and Edouard Asselina*
Affiliation: Department of Materials Engineering, The University of British Columbia, 309-6350 Stores Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
Abstract: The purification of hydrometallurgical process solutions by Fe(III) precipitation is a common and large scale industrial operation. This step is notorious for resulting in valuable metal loss to the iron precipitation product, which is usually directed to tailings. In this study, factors affecting Fe(III) precipitation and associated copper loss were studied in synthetic process solutions using statistical methods. The variables studied were: initial acid concentration, retention time, seed addition, initial Fe(III), Cu(II) and chloride concentrations. The importance of each variable and their interaction effects were studied against two responses i.e. %Fe(III) precipitated as hematite and %Cu lost to solids. The results showed that a combination of high acid and moderate seeding was required to simultaneously achieve high proportions of Fe(III) precipitated as hematite and lower copper loss to the precipitates. High acid concentrations create low supersaturation for Fe(III), which minimizes consequences of homogeneous nucleation and favours particle growth. Keywords: Hematite precipitation, Copper loss, Supersaturation, Pressure leaching, Statistical analysis.

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