Metal Recovery from Low Grade Ores and Wastes Plus

Project Description

“METGROW+” will address and solve bottlenecks in the European raw materials supply by developing innovative metallurgical technologies for unlocking the use of potential domestic raw materials. The METGROW+ consortium has received an EIP RM Commitment status. The consortium is supported by internationally respected research institutes and universities. Many of the partners (9) are members of EIT KIC Raw Materials consortium as well. The value chain and business models for metal recovery from low grade ores and wastes are carefully looked after. Within this project, both primary and secondary materials are studied as potential metal resources. Economically important nickelcobalt deposits and low grade polymetallic wastes, iron containing sludges (goethite, jarosite etc.) which are currently not yet being exploited due to technical bottlenecks, are in focus.
Concurrently, METGROW+ targets innovative hydrometallurgical processes to extract important metals including Ni, Cu, Zn, Co, In, Ga, Ge from low grade ores in a cost-effective way. In addition a toolbox for metallurgical system is created in the project using new methods and combinations.
The unused potential of metal containing fine grained industrial residues are evaluated, while hybrid and flexible hydrometallurgical processes and treatment methods of fines are developed for both materials. Training and education of new professionals are facilitated within the METGROW+ project. The knowledge of raw materials and sustainable technologies will attract new talents in the field who can flexibly change fields from treatment of secondary to primary resources, which also smoothens the economic ups and downs in the primary sector.

IDENER contributions

  • Process design toolbox: IDENER will develop the METGROW+ toolbox using the decision framework to be built within the project. This toolbox is a flexible new metallurgical systems Toolbox that allows, for a selected low-grade resource, finding the best combination of upstream (pretreatment), extraction, recovery and downstream (residue valorisation) processes that provide an integrated, sustainable and cost-effective metallurgical system for zero-waste metal exploitation. The toolbox brings together (1) existing metallurgical unit operations (to be tailored/adapted for low-grade resources), (2) more innovative unit operations which are specifically designed for low-value materials, and (3) downstream processing unit operations, which deal with the residual minerals after metals have been extracted. 
  • Metal extraction using deep eutectic solvents: Study of the leaching potential of deep eutectic solvents (a new generation of ionic liquids), identifying the best operational conditions through the use od design of experiments (DoE) techniques for each of the sources involved in the project.
  • Metal electrodeposition from Deep Eutectic Solvents: Both important aspects of electrodeposition will be studied since electrowinning from DES is yet an unknown field: the electrochemical window that allows a high electrowinning efficiency and the use of additives as a way to increase final metal product quality. This task is closely linked to the Deep Eutectic Solvent extraction to be addressed also by IDENER.
  • Metal concentration using supported liquid membranes: After the membrane extraction setup, the hydrodynamic conditions will be first optimised (influence of feed flow rate and the volumes of the organic and stripping phases). After that, the optimisation of chemical conditions for metal separation from hydrometallurgical solutions and performance evaluation will be carried out. Influence of the total carrier concentration and the influence of the initial complex species concentration in the organic phase will be assessed. In parallel, different HFSLM configurations and other liquid membrane systems such as Flat Sheet Supported Liquid membranes or Emulsion Liquid Membranes will be tested using the same components..



logo EU

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program under Grant Agreement n° 690088

Project Details

  • Client H2020 funded project
  • Date 4 February, 2016
  • Tags Environment, Public - EU FP7 / H2020, Software Engineering
  • Programme H2020-SC5-2014-2015
  • Call ID H2020 - SC5-11e
  • Client H2020 funded project
  • Partners VTT, Arche cvba, IDP Ingeniería y Arquitectura Iberia S.L. , IMN-Instytut Metali Niezelaznych, University KU Leuven, JM Recycling NV, Outotec Oy, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, Tecnalia, Technical University of Crete, University of Gent, VITO - Flemish Institute for Technological Research, Hellenic Copper Mines LTD, Urbaser, Profima, Umicore, D’appolonia, Kerneos
  • Project cost 7.911.462,50 €
  • Start date February 2016
  • End date January 2020
Launch Project
Back to Top