IDENER at PROMETIA Tech Tour in Leuven (Brussels), 8-11 October 2018
For the second year in a row, IDENER once again engaged in the PROMETIA Technological tour, which this time took place in Leuven, a beautiful town next to Brussels, in Belgium. Our young researcher Andrea Martos was very excited to participate and has returned very enthusiastically with fresh ideas of the metallurgical industry and new colleagues.
The first day, the researchers from PROMETIA institutions visited UMICORE in Antwerp, where they acquired the urban mining concept and had the opportunity to see how this company works worldwide. UMICORE has its precious metal recycling plant in the city, where it recycles residues from different kinds of industry to do valuable products. After a Greek lunch, they returned to Leuven and visited the Science Materials Faculty of KU Leuven. At this visit, they learnt about the different projects and research about slags and raw materials where KU Leuven takes part. After that, they enjoyed the traditional food from Leuven and takes time to know better each other.
The second day, the group moved to Liège and visited two important metallurgy enterprises. First, they went to Hydrometal S.A., a recycling industry practitioner in selective leaching, metal precipitation, cementation and other ways to remove or reduce impurities and separate metal powder. They were able to discover the process of desulphuration, the management of water wastes and the storage the powder, among others. After that, they visited CRM, an organization that provides solutions and innovations in the area of metal and steel production. Moreover, they had the possibility to visit the pilot-plant and gain knowledge about the processes and industrial systems such as induction melting furnace and aluminium melting post-combustion unit. At night, they had dinner with KU Leuven students and shared the experience and common interests.
Last day morning, the group visited Chemistry Department of KU Leuven University. In this visit, they did a tour around the metal recovery processes with intensification technologies (TRX, Ultrasound-assisted extraction, etc.) in the laboratories. Then, they attended a talk about solvometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, non-aqueous solvent extraction and recycling of rare-earths from lamp phosphors and magnets.
This was an experience that Andrea remembers with joy, and she is very inspired for her current and future work.
Looking forward to the next edition!