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High Temperature Pyrochemistry
Purification of Liquid Metals
Carbo-chlorination of Ores
Design and Construction of High Temperature Furnaces
- Design and construction of thermal insulation, power supply and instrumentation.
- Selection of refractories and castables for thermal insulation.
- Heat transfer and electrical calculations.
- Safety calculations (e.g., pressure vessels, flares, combustion).
- Health and safety procedures and personel training.
• Measurement of Physical Properties of Molten Salts and Ionic Melts
- Density and dynamic viscosity of molten chlorides and fluorides.
- Surface tension, wetting and contact angle of molten chlorides and fluorides (sessile drop and bubble pressure).
- High temperature calorimetry (TGA, DTA, DTC).
- Thermodynamic properties from electromotive force measurements (emf).
- Electrical conductivity.
- Vapor pressure and vapor-liquid equilibrium of molten halides.
- Binary phase diagram determination.
• Selection of Corrosion Resistant Materials
- Refractory metals and their alloys (e.g., Ti, Zr, Hf, V, Nb, Ta, Cr, Mo, W).
- Precious and noble metals (e.g.,Cu, Ag, Au).
- Platinum Group Metals (e.g.,Ru, Rh, Pd, Os, Ir, Pt).
- Advanced ceramics (e.g., C, SiO2, MgO, CaO, Al2O3, ZrO2, BN, Si3N4).
- Corrosion resistant materials and coatings in molten metal fluorides and chlorides.
- Corrosion resistant materials and coatings in molten caustic alkali-metals hydroxides (e.g., NaOH, KOH).
- Corrosion resistant materials and coatings in molten alkali-metals carbonates and nitrates.
- Corrosion resistant materials and coatings in weak and strong mineral acids (e.g., HF, HCl, H2SO4, HNO3).
- Corrosion resistant materials and coatings in iodine-hydroiodic mixtures (e.g., HI-I2).
- Corrosion resistant materials and coatings in bromine-hydrobromic mixtures (e.g., HBr-Br2).
• Electrochemical Measurements
- Steady state and transient voltammetry.
- Electrical conductivity and transport properties.
- Fabrication of reference electrodes (e.g., chloride, fluoride, and oxide melts).
- Dissolved oxygen in molten chlorides and fluorides uing an oxygen probe.
• Electrorefining and Electrowinning
- Refractory metals (e.g., Ti, Zr, Hf, V, Nb, Ta) in molten salt electrolytes.
- Inert anode for electrowinning aluminum (e.g., metals and alloys, advanced ceramics, cermets)
- Lithium and sodium metal in molten chlorides and molten carbonates.
- Electrowinning and refining of niobium and tantalum metal from their oxides.
- Tantalum bio-implants by electrodeposition in molten salts.
- Metallothermic reduction of reactive and refractory metal oxides (e.g., aluminothermic, calciothermic).
• Carbo-chlorination of Titanium and Niobium (Columbium) rich Feedstocks
- Design of bench and pilot scale chlorinator (i.e., fluidized bed, feeder, cyclones and settling chambers).
- Low temperature carbo-chlorination of titanium oxycarbides (TiOCs) and oxynitrides (TiONs).
- Carbo-chlorination of ferroniobium (FeNb) and ferrotantalumniobium (FeTaNb).
- Monitoring of phosgene (COCl2) concentrations in off-gases and refractory metal chlorides.
- Reduction of carryover by various techniques (e.g., quenching, freeboard expansion, cyclones).
• Purification and Handling of Liquid Alkali Metals
- Purification of liquid lithium metal and sodium metal from solid inclusions.
- Management of lithium and sodium metal fires (Class D).
Preparation and Selection of Industrial Electrode Materials
- Dimensionally stable anodes (DSA) for oxygen evolution in acidic media (i.e., DSA-O2, DSA-IrO2).
- Preparation of mixed metal oxides anodes (MMO).
- Service life and failure mode analysis of electrode materials in harsh environments.
- Benchmarking of commercial electrode materials (MMO, DSA, Ebonex, Lead anodes).
• Selection of Separators and Membranes
- Service life and failure mode analysis of ion exchange membrane materials in harsh environments.
- Benchmarking of commercial ion exchange membrane materials.
• Surface finishing of refractory metals
- Chemical and electrolytic polishing of titanium, zirconium, tantalum, niobium and molybdenum.
• Scale-up of Electrolyzers
- From bench scale [MP-cell (Electrocell AB) and FM01 (ICI Ltd.)] to pre-pilot scale [FM21 (ICI Ltd.)].
- Polymer concrete rectangular cells, and EMEW cells
Industrial Wastes and Mining Residues
from Industrial Wastes and Mining Resisues
- Hydrometallurgical processes for the recovery of vanadium and lithium from spent lithium batteries.
- Pyrometallurgical processes for the recovery of vanadium and lithium from spent lithium batteries.
- Electrochemical recovery of chlorine from chlorination wastes and hydrochloric acid from spent pickling liquors.
- Regeneration of sulfuric and hydrochloric acids and recovery of metallic iron from the pregnant leach solutions (PLS) by-produced during the high pressure acid leaching (HPAL) of rare earth (REO) ores and concentrates (e.g., bastnaesite, loparite, xenotime, monazite, and lanthanide-rich absorption clays).
- Regeneration of sulfuric and hydrochloric acids and recovery of metallic iron and manganese from the pregnant leach solutions by-produced during the caustic fusion, sulfate digestion or soda ash roasting followed by pressure acid leaching of niobium-rich ores and concentrates (e.g., pyrochlore, columbite, niobite).
- Regeneration of sulfuric and hydrochloric acids and recovery of metallic iron and manganese from the pregnant leach solutions by-produced during the the caustic fusion, sulfate digestion or soda ash roasting followed by pressure acid leaching of tantalum-rich ores and concentrates (e.g., tantalite, wodginite, microlite, samarskite, etc).
- Regeneration of sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid and spent etchants from the titanium and steelmaking industries.
- Recovery of traces of heavy metals from industrial effluents and acid mine drainage (AMD) by slacking and ion-exchange resins (IX).
- Recovery of minor metals (e.g., Cd, Hg, Se, Te, In, Ga) from industrial wastes, mining residues and effluents.
- Chemical dissolution and recovery of gold metal from precious metal residues and electronic scrap.
- Extraction of heavy rare earths elemens (HREEs) from tantalum and niobium ores and concentrates.
of Organic Wastes
- Electrochemical oxidation of swine manure.
- Electrochemical removal of heavy and toxic metals from wastewaters.
- Electrochemical treatment of wastewaters containing organic pollutants.
- Design and construction of scintillating detectors.
- Ultra-traces analysis by neutron activation (NAA).
- Radioactivity from rare earths concentrates (monazite, bastnaesite, xenotime, and loparite).
- NORM and TENORM in the mining, mineral processing and metallurgical industries.
- Radiolysis studies.
- Polymerization by gamma irradiation.
- High doses rate dosimetry (Fricke dosimeter).
- Nuclear structure and radionuclides.
- Radioactivity transformations and reactions.
- Radioactive decay (branching and secular equilibrium).
- Radiation effects on matter.
- Nuclear detectors and measurement techniques.
- Neutronics and nuclear power reactors.
- Nuclear fuel cycle.
|• Inorganic Chemistry of
Less Common Elements
and Minor Metals
- Chemistry of titanium, zirconium and hafnium (occurrence, preparation, compounds).
- Chemistry of vanadium compounds and vanadates (extraction of vanadium by alkaline roasting, inorganic and organic acid leaching, alkaline leaching, digestion, or solvent extraction; stability diagram of vanadium species in acidic and alkaline aqueous solutions according to the total concentration of vanadium, pH and redox conditions)
- Chemistry of tantalum and niobium (columbium).
- Chemistry of lithium.
- Chemistry of selenium and tellurium.
• Electroanalytical Techniques
- Transient and steady state voltammetry and polarography.
- Anodic stripping voltammetry (ASV).
- Potentiometry and conductommetry.
- Electrochemical studies of the speciation of arsenic, cadmium and mercury at trace levels.
- Characterization and quality control of hard anodizing coatings (breakdown voltage).
and Secondary Lithium Batteries
Metal Polymer Batteries
- Metallurgy and purification of battery grade lithium metal ingot.
- Processing of ultra thin film and foil of lithium metal.
- Design and performances calculations of the electrochemical cell (EC) .
- Cycling and data acquisition.
- Thermodynamic calculations and evaluation of thermal stability and abuse testing.
- Pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical recycling of cell materials.
Mineralogy and Petrography
Mineral Dressing and Beneficiation
Geological Exploration and Mining Prospection
Applied Mineralogy and Petrography
|• Identification of
Minerals, Ores and Rocks
- Transmitted light polarizing microscope and thin sections (minerals, rocks, cements, refractories).
- Reflected light microscopy, opaque minerals and ores metallography.
- Practical mineral identification techniques and optical crystallography (orthoscopic and conoscopic microscopy)
- Mineral dressing (heavy liquids, elutriation, flotation, magnetic separation).
- X-ray diffraction (Laue, Debye-Scherrer, Bragg-Brentano).
- Pyrognostic and microchemical tests.
- Semi-micro inorganic qualitative chemical analysis.
• Mineral Dressing Techniques and Ore Beneficiation
- Crushing and grinding
- Gravity separation (heavy media, jigs, spirals)
- Magnetic and Electrostatic Separation
- Froth flotation
• Geological Exploration and Mining Prospection
- Sourcing of strategic metals (lithium, vanadium, niobium, tantalum, tungsten and thorium).
- Underground (abandonned or active) mine sites visits with team of geologists and mining engineers.
- Due Diligence.
Economics and Project Management
- Plant Auditing and Due Diligence.
- Capital Cost (CAPEX) Estimates.
- Operating Cost (OPEX) Estimates.
- Financial Evaluation and Sensitivity Analysis.
- Business Plan.
- Control Plan.
- Personel Training.
- HAZOP Review.
Writing, Training and Information Search
- Professional Reports.
- Comprehensive Bibliographical Survey.
- Access to online databases: STN, Chemical Abstracts, CISTI, British Library, National Patent Offices.
- On-site courses: Metrology - Materials Selection - Electrochemistry - Radioactivity - Mineralogy.
- Scientific and technical translations: English, French, Italian.