SMART: sustainable metal extraction from tailings

01 March 2017 → 28 February 2021
Regional and community funding: various
Research disciplines
  • Engineering and technology
    • Environmental microorganism biotechnology
metal extraction
Project description

The aim of this project is to develop a generic toolbox for sustainable metal extraction from both historical and newly produced tailings, by using combinations of advanced hydrometallurgical, solvometallurgical and biometallurgical methods. After the metal extraction, a clean mineral residue remains. The technologies envisaged have a dual form of selectivity: a high solubility of the targeted metals (including precious metals: In, Ge, Ga, Sb, W, PGMs, REEs, Co, V, Mo, W, environmentally harmful metals: Ash, Cd, Tl, Hg, U) and a low solubility of the mineral (tailings) matrix. The SMART toolbox consists of a multitude of both existing and new unitary processes, which can be combined in function of the specific tailings family.