News (Letzte 12 Monate)

New research projects for the Pure Metals group

Posted on 14.10.2019 by cstallmeister

Following the successful completion of the InnoRaff project (Germanium refining, sponsor ZIM / AIF, 01.07.2016-31.03.2019), the Pure Metals group can now further expand its focus in two approved DFG projects. In July 2019, an interdisciplinary project was started in collaboration with the Department for Industrial Furnaces and Heat Engineering (IOB) and ACCESS e.v., which aims to understand the mechanisms and to develop a process model for the ultra-refining of metals via crystallization. The second one (Start Nov. 2019) is also an interdisciplinary project, in which IME in cooperation with the Chair of Corrosion and Corrosion Protection (KKS) is going to develop a biodegradable, high-purity magnesium material. In these two research projects, each of which will be carried out as a PhD thesis, IME will use various innovative refining techniques based on the principle of crystallization.

Three new battery research projects at IME

Posted on 27.09.2019 by cstallmeister

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.

After more than 17 years the IME has to farewell its chief engineer Dr. Fuchs, who took his well-deserved retirement. We are thankful for the commitment, the patience and the time spent together.
Notwithstanding we would like to introduced our well-known colleague as our new chief engineer and wish him success.


IME-Team 2018

Posted on 12.09.2018 by admin

Like every year, we proudly present our IME group photo. This year the photo has been taken in one of our pyrometallurgical working halls.

IME hosts "Lead in Copper Alloys" Workshop

Posted on 24.07.2018 by dmichaelis

At the invitation of IME and the German Copper Council (DKI) 28 experts on copper research and production from eight European countries met in Aachen to discuss the current legislations and technical strategies of lead removal in a workshop on “Lead in Copper Alloys” on June 16th. Following the introductory remarks of Prof. Friedrich and Dr. Ockenfeld (DKI), Simon Hilgendorf had the opportunity to present the results of his cooperation PhD between the IME and the Fraunhofer Project Group IWKS. The presentation was followed by an intensive discussion about the possible industrial implementation of the approaches, especially from an economic perspective. The event was concluded by an IME-tour, including a demonstration experiment, which practically showed the precipitation of intermetallic calcium-lead-phases from molten brass.


New Autoclave at the IME

Posted on 24.05.2018 by dmichaelis

The IME purchased a new high-pressure autoclave (by the manufacturer Büchi) within the framework of the governmentally funded research project CO2MIN. Goal of the project is the development and optimization of a carbonation process of anthropogenic CO2-emissions in order to generate marketable products. The process will be tested in a 1 L vessel before upscaling to 10 L vessel. Mineral sequestration of CO2 is a natural reaction, which can be accelerated under high pressure. Thus, it takes only a few minutes to complete the reaction under 200 bar and 300 °C. The autoclave will be ready for operation in June.


Last update: 10.24.2019