Special Issue "Recovery of Metals from Alternative and Urban Ores"

A special issue of Resources (ISSN 2079-9276).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Athanasios Angelis Dimakis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Sciences, School of Applied Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK
Interests: industrial symbiosis; industrial ecology; life cycle assessment; eco-efficiency; circular economy
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. George Arampatzis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Production Engineering and Management, Technical University of Crete, University Campus, Akrotiri, 73100 Chania, Greece
Interests: smart ICT technologies; proces and system engineering; energy systems management; environmental systems management; water resources management
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The depletion of natural resources has significantly increased the importance of resource recovery from various waste streams. Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) is one of the fastest growing waste streams globally, and, at the same time, has a significant value since it contains a large variety of metals. The term “urban mining” was initially introduced to describe the recovery of metals from secondary metal stocks in urban locations, providing an alternative resource to conventional mountainous mines. Nowadays, the term has evolved and indicates the recovery of compounds from various types of anthropogenic stocks, including infrastructures, abandoned buildings, and discarded products. Various methods are currently being implemented for the recovery of metals from urban mines, which include both conventional (e.g., pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy/chemical leaching) and emerging (e.g., electrochemistry, plasma, ionic liquids) technologies. This Special Issue of the journal Resources, entitled: “Recovery of Metals from Alternative and Urban Ores”, welcomes both experimental and computational manuscripts focusing on the recovery of metals from alternative urban mines.

Dr. Athanasios Angelis-Dimakis
Dr. George Arampatzis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Resources is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Urban Mining
  • Metal Recovery
  • Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE)
  • Rare and Precious Metals (RPMs)

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Hydrometallurgical Process to Recover Cobalt from Spent Li-Ion Batteries
Resources 2021, 10(6), 58; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10060058 - 07 Jun 2021
Viewed by 997
Abstract
The growth of the lithium-ion battery industry requires a secure supply of raw materials and appropriate end-of-life management of batteries. In almost five years, global cobalt consumption has increased by nearly 30%, driven mainly by rechargeable batteries. Consequently, several risks have been identified [...] Read more.
The growth of the lithium-ion battery industry requires a secure supply of raw materials and appropriate end-of-life management of batteries. In almost five years, global cobalt consumption has increased by nearly 30%, driven mainly by rechargeable batteries. Consequently, several risks have been identified for cobalt, in particular the growing demand for electric vehicles, which could exceed current production. Therefore, research into the recovery of this critical metal, from industrial or urban waste, is particularly important in the years to come. In this study, cobalt is recovered from a lithium-ion battery leachate in hydroxide form. The thermodynamic simulations performed with Visual Minteq showed that it was possible to recover 99.8% of cobalt (II) hydroxide at 25 °C. Based on these results, experiments were conducted to validate the hypotheses put forward and to compare the results obtained with the simulations performed. Experimentally, several operating parameters were studied to determine the optimal conditions for cobalt recovery, in terms of yield, filterability, and selectivity. Results obtained in a batch reactor allowed the determination of the temperature conditions to be applied in continuous reactor. The cobalt (II) hydroxide precipitation in continuous reactor was carried out under different pH conditions. It was then possible to determine the optimal conditions for cobalt recovery in terms of yield and filterability. Results showed that working at pH 9 would effectively meet the desired criteria. Indeed, cobalt recovery is close to 100% and filtration flow rate is three times higher. Results obtained allow a better understanding of cobalt (II) hydroxide precipitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recovery of Metals from Alternative and Urban Ores)
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Article
Technoeconomic Assessment of Organic Halide Based Gold Recovery from Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment
Resources 2021, 10(2), 17; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10020017 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 761
Abstract
Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) is one of the fastest growing waste streams worldwide, with significant economic value due to the precious metals contained within. Currently, only a small share of the total globally produced quantity produced is treated effectively and a [...] Read more.
Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) is one of the fastest growing waste streams worldwide, with significant economic value due to the precious metals contained within. Currently, only a small share of the total globally produced quantity produced is treated effectively and a large amount of valuable non-renewable resources are being wasted. Moreover, the methods currently applied in industry on a large scale are not always environmentally friendly. Thus, an economically viable and environmentally friendly method that would achieve high recovery of certain elements is sought. The objective of this paper is to assess four different organic halides as leaching agents for gold recovery from WEEE. Two of them have been previously tested (namely N-bromosuccinimide, NBS, and N-chlorosuccinimide, NCS) and have shown promising results, whereas the other two are novel and were selected due to their lower toxicity levels (trichloroisocyanuric acid, TCICA, and tribromoisocyanuric acid, TBICA). Both commercially supplied pure gold powder and WEEE dust from a recycling company were used as the gold source. Results show that from a technical standpoint, the NBS is a superior solution with both substrates, reaching 61% and 99% extraction efficiency from WEEE dust and pure gold, respectively. The other three methods recorded lower recovery efficiency (with the highest value reaching 36% for NCS, 53% for TCICA and 29% for TBICA). However, taking into account the price of gold and the expenses of the extraction process, only three of the lixiviants tested (NBS, NCS and TCICA) could be potentially profitable and viable on a larger scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recovery of Metals from Alternative and Urban Ores)
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Article
Designing on the Basis of Recycling-Metallurgy Possibilities: Material-Specific Rules and Standards for “Anti-Dissipative” Products
Resources 2021, 10(1), 5; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10010005 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1408
Abstract
The demand for metals from the entire periodic table is currently increasing due to the ongoing digitalization. However, their use within electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) poses problems as they cannot be recovered sufficiently in the end-of-life (EoL) phase. In this paper, we [...] Read more.
The demand for metals from the entire periodic table is currently increasing due to the ongoing digitalization. However, their use within electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) poses problems as they cannot be recovered sufficiently in the end-of-life (EoL) phase. In this paper, we address the unleashed dissipation of metals caused by the design of EEE for which no globally established recycling technology exists. We describe the European Union’s (EU) plan to strive for a circular economy (CE) as a political response to tackle this challenge. However, there is a lack of feedback from a design perspective. It is still unknown what the implications for products would be if politics were to take the path of a CE at the level of metals. To provide clarification in this respect, a case study for indium is presented and linked to its corresponding recycling-metallurgy of zinc and lead. As a result, a first material-specific rule on the design of so-called “anti-dissipative” products is derived, which actually supports designing EEE with recycling in mind and represents an already achieved CE on the material level. In addition, the design of electrotechnical standardization is being introduced. As a promising tool, it addresses the multi-dimensional problems of recovering metals from urban ores and assists in the challenge of enhancing recycling rates. Extending the focus to other recycling-metallurgy besides zinc and lead in further research would enable the scope for material-specific rules to be widened. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recovery of Metals from Alternative and Urban Ores)
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