Pyrometallurgy

GERRI maintains the largest and most modern high-temperature center for non-ferrous metallurgy in Europe. The high-temperature center covers almost the complete range of metals as well as pyrometallurgical processing technologies (testing plants for characterization, conditioning, melting, refining, alloying, casting and for special operations). Protective gas or vacuum technologies for the production of highly purified metals play an equally important role, such as "low cost" recycling technologies for the distinct separation of metals from waste or by-products. Core competencies are in the development of sustainable methods, e.g. for the realization of "Zero Waste" and "Green Processing". The industry-oriented process developments in the areas of primary production and recycling take place on application-oriented basic work supported by fundamental research with set up, allowing for experimental validation of models and kinetic assessment. The subsequent validation phase can be enlarged up to demonstration scale - always taking into account the economy and the greatest possible resource efficiency.

 

Material properties

 

Testing plants for solid and liquid materials like powders, pellets, molten salts, liquid electrolytes, metallic melts, slags, etc. give a first impression of special material properties, which are important for pyrometallurgical process technology. Lab-scale metallurgical furnaces allow fundamental studies an equilibria and kinetics (e.g. metal/slag).

  • Electrical conductivity measurement
  • Dynamic viscosity measurement
  • Induction furnace, resistance heated (crucible-, chamber-) furnaces
  • Resistance heated (vacuum) tube furnaces

 

Material conditioning

 

Testing plants for thermal conditioning in a fixed bed are used for organic- or metal separation of complex materials, like WEE, aluminum scrap, EAF Dust, etc. .

  • Pyrolysis
  • Rotary kiln
  • Microwave-vacuum-system

 

Melting, refining, alloying & casting

 

Different metallurgical bath smelting furnaces allows tests for all kind of materials with variable operating parameters (atmosphere, feeding system, heating system, material flow, off-gas treatment, etc.). Typical operational areas are (re)melting, refining (gas purging, selective oxidation), slag cleaning, metal separation, vacuum distillation and degassing.

  • Electric Arc Furnace (EAF/SAF),
  • TSL/ISAsmelt
  • Top Blown Rotary Converter (TBRC/TRF),
  • Resistance heated crucible furnace
  • Vacuum induction furnace
  • Vacuum inductively heated hot-wall furnace

 

Special operations

 

In this field a testing plant for electrowinning of metals and alloys in molten salts can be used for investigations of green-house gas emissions from established electrolytic processes.

  • Molten salt electrolysis