News (Letzte 12 Monate)

Completion of the Project DEMO-MAN

Posted on 13.01.2020 by cstallmeister

This year at the IME, the BMBF-Project DEMO-Man (01.06.2019–31.12.2019, Grant Agreement 033R251) was carried out. In this project, the pyrometallurgical treatment of manganese nodules in the pilot scale was carried out. Therefore, in a three-shift operation, manganese ore, nickel ore, copper oxide and fluxes were smelted, to investigate the deep-reduction of copper, nickel and cobalt out of the manganese nodule dummy material.

Part of the project was the improvement of the atline and online analytics for pyrometallurgical demonstration scale experiments: Through the project, a laser induced breakdown spectroscope, a mobile countertop XRF and a dip measuring lance system for combined temperature and oxygen activity measurements in metallurgical melts were used.

As expected, the large-scale trial also showed potential for improvement of the technology, which is essential for the upcoming real trials in 2020/21 on pacific manganese nodules. In this respect, we would like to thank the BMBF for the opportunity to simulate the system in advance.


Awards for three outstanding master theses

Posted on 06.12.2019 by cstallmeister

Three student awards have been given to outstanding master theses written at the IME in 2019. Marcus Sommerfeld was awarded with the Otto Junker Prize for his work entitled „Scale-up of a pyrometallurgical route for the processing of manganese nodules, based on the „High Manganese Slag Practice"". Gunnar Hovestadt received the award of the Stiftsverband Metalle by the GDMB for his master thesis on „Experimental energy and material balancing of selective zinc-lead vacuum distillation from a lead-containing brass malt". As well, Carolin Mazurek was awarded with the promotion prize from „Friends of the IME e. V.“ for her work „Parameter study on Al-Sc Co-reduction using statistical experimental design" at this year's graduate meeting.

aec Seminar March 2020

Posted on 14.11.2019 by admin

From the 16th to the 19th of March a seminar about introduction of the aluminum technology will take place again, it is organized by aec e.V. The seminar involve topics in areas of recycling, processing and application of aluminum products. It is aimed at professionals as well as students with interest on aluminum-process companies.

For more information, see: Link

Deutsche Welle at IME – Rare Earth Metals

Posted on 29.10.2019 by cstallmeister

A camera team from the german TV channel “Deutsche Welle” got an insight into the research activities at the IME for a documentary on the extraction and recycling of rare earth metals. The focus was the import of raw materials, especially from China, which has been dominating the European market up to now. Therefore, the objectives of achieving recycling are not only ecological but also politico-economic for Europe. The TV contribution recorded at the IME, which can be accessed in English via the link below, explains the above-mentioned facts and shows pictures from experimental research.

The IME can further expand its focus in the field of Li-Ion battery recycling on the basis of three new research projects. In August 2019 the project MERCATOR (sponsor BMU) was started. The aim is the conception of a multi-chamber furnace for the thermal pre-treatment of vehicle batteries on a pilot scale at ACCUREC Recycling GmbH, as well as the hydrometallurgical treatment of the thermally pre-treated material. The LIBERO project (sponsor AiF-ZIM, start September 2019) also addresses hydrometallurgical recycling, but in a mix of different cell types. In return, the task of the IME in the InnoRec (sponsor BMBF, start October 2019) project is to develop pyrometallurgical recycling methods both for conventional LIB and for innovative cell systems and to test them experimentally up to demonstration scale.

Project ReOrgAl started

Posted on 06.08.2019 by cstallmeister

The rising amount of organically contaminated aluminium scrap confronts the recycling industry with big challenges and offers a considerable savings potential at the same time. The recently granted project \"ReOrgAl\" addresses these tasks and potentials: Minimizing the primary energy demand for thermal pretreatment of organically contaminated aluminium scrap through innovative process optimizations. The project consortium consisting of representatives of experienced aluminium processors and plant constructors as well as employees of the IOB and the IME of RWTH Aachen University met for a joint kick-off meeting in June. Moderated by the project manager IOB, the project procedure was discussed and presented to a representative of the project sponsor (BMWi). Within the framework of the project, the IME is responsible for the melting and pyrolysis tests on a laboratory scale - including the use of microwave technology in continuous operation.

DAAD Project with the Technical University Košice

Posted on 30.07.2019 by cstallmeister

\r\nThe DAAD research and exchange project with the Institute of Recycling Technologies (IRT) from Košice was launched with a kickoff meeting at the beginning of July in Slovakia. The aim of the joint work is the development of a combined pyro- and hydrometallurgical recycling process for the recovery of raw materials from spent Li-ion batteries. In particular the Li recovery from slags of the Li-Ion battery recycling is set as the main focus of this research project. With the visit of the Slovakian partners in September and October first joint test series will start at IME.

TMS Award – Recycling

Posted on 12.06.2019 by cstallmeister

In recognition of excellence in authorship of an outstanding technical paper (Light Metals 2018) ”Behaviour of Mg-Si-Rich Phases in Aluminium Can Sheets and Their Impact on Metal Oxidation During Industrial Thermal Pre-treatment ”, Prof. Friedrich is honoured by The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) as the recipient of the LMD/EPD Subject Award-Recycling Supporting Author. The research work related with the paper was carried out within the framework of the AMAP (Advanced Metals And Processes) research cluster at RWTH Aachen University, which is known as the leading European research and innovation cluster for non-ferrous metals and processes. As one of the core founder of AMAP, IME Institute has long and intensively participated in many AMAP projects, e.g. P4-melt cleanliness, P5- Sustainable Recycling Concept: Efficient Melting. Since 2013, fruitful results has been brought out based on collaboration between IME and industrial partners within AMAP.

DAAD Project with University of Belgrade

Posted on 14.05.2019 by cstallmeister

In fulfilment of a DAAD project with The University of Belgrade, which includes mutual research and scientist exchange, Dr. Vesna Cvetkovic, Dr. Natasa Vukicevic and Dr. Marija Mihailovic came to IME Aachen in April 2019 for a four-week stay. Dr. V.Cvetkovic, Dr. N. Vukicevic and M.Sc D. Feldhaus experimentally investigated the mechanism of neodymium electrodeposition processes from neodymium fluoride + lithium fluoride and from neodymium fluoride + lithium fluoride + neodymium oxide melts at 1050 °C.
Dr. M. Mihailovic and Dr. S. Stopic have performed a potential controlled leaching with sulphuric acid and precipitation of cobalt with NaOH in the presence and in absence of H2O2 from lateritic ores in order to produce cobalt hydroxide.

Off-gas analysis for pilot plant TBRC and EAF

Posted on 09.05.2019 by cstallmeister

This spring, the off-gas system of the pilot plant TBRC and EAF was equipped with a system for continuous analysis of process gases. Heart of the analysis system is a FTIR (Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy) from the Finnish maufacturer Gasmet Technologies Oy, which is able to measure and record the concentration of all infrared active gases such as CO, CO2, H2O, NOX and various organic compounds over time. All system components which are in contact with the analysis gas are heated, so it is possible to measure even corrosive gases like SO2, HCl und HF without any problems. This new investment is a further step towards a better control and monitoring of pyrometallurgical melting processes in TBRC and EAF and thus significantly increase the quality of the results.

IME in the magazine "Kultur & Technik"

Posted on 28.01.2019 by dmichaelis

Recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has been discussed in the latest issue of "Kultur & Technik - The Magazine of the German Museum". Amongst other things the IME's approaches and research were presented.

Have a look at the article under the following link:

Download PDF

Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Posted on 12.12.2018 by dmichaelis

The IME-team wishes you and your family a merry christmas and a happy new year!

Project completed

Posted on 06.11.2018 by dmichaelis

Copper Extraction from Seafloor-Massive-Sulfides from the German License in the Indian Ocean Completed

IME successfully conducted a thorough R&D project for the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) in 2018. For the project a Massive-Sulfide sample from the German license area in the Indian Ocean (so called Kairei hydrothermal vent field) in about 2000 m depth was collected by BGR and delivered to IME for metallurgical tests. The sample mostly consists of chalcopyrite and copper-sulfides with an average copper-content of 39%. On the one hand the classic pyrometallurgical processing route (matte-smelting and converting) was investigated in a lab-scale, on the other hand oxidative leaching trials were carried out under increased pressure in an autoclave system as well as under atmospheric conditions. The project proved that this “new” deep-sea ore can be processed with high copper extraction rates similar to the processing of copper-concentrates, as was expected.