Chemical Technology


Sub-project 11:

Metal recovery from complex polymetallic systems

May 1ˢᵗ 2013 – April 30ᵗʰ 2017
Institute and professorship:
Responsible professor and other scientist:
Students on the project:
Aim of sub-project:
The sub projects of the Krüger Research School are conceived to build up one on another and according to the level of leach efficiency and liberation of metal and non-metal ions. The experiences gained in the handling of bioleached solutions are contributed to the next level. Especially for recovery of metals from complex polymetallic solutions new and innovative separation techniques are required. This includes the production of selective ion exchange systems with functionalised stationary phase materials on the basis on silica. Over the last years liquid-liquid extraction is indeed used as the method of choice to achieve high metal purities. Nevertheless an improvement of selectivity of organic solvents was missing. In another sub-project new chelating agents are synthesised which will be tested in this project under different reaction conditions for the separation of complex leaching solutions (reactive separation). In addition to the separation of germanium and indium a holistic approach is investigated to recover all contained components and improving the efficiency of the zero-waste concept. The process development is subjected to economical evaluations to ensure a subsequent transformation into industrial scales.
Ongoing work and results:
The Department of Chemical Technology deals with the separation of indium from the leaching solution. On the basis of a model solution, a multi-stage extraction process for the production of indium was developed. The originally very low indium concentration was successively increased by several extraction and re-extraction steps. The method is characterized by low chemical requirements and a high purity of the obtained indium.
Publications from sub-project:
Vostal, R., Šingliar, U. and Fröhlich, P. (2017), Gewinnung von Indium aus extrem verdünnten Lösungen. Chemie Ingenieur Technik, 89: 135–143. doi:10.1002/cite.201600117.
Student theses related to sub-project:
Possible additional student projects:
To be defined.