K1-MET Research Area 1 works on the further development and up-scaling of processes to treat residues and recycling materials such as slags and dusts focusing on a recovery of valuable materials and on a closure of material cycles. On the other hand, the characterization and efficient utilization of raw materials for metallurgical production processes is investigated.
Furthermore, Area 1 concentrates on the development of measurement methods for material properties of metallurgical slag systems.
- Methods to determine physico-chemical and thermodynamic slag properties
- Sustainable treatment of dusts and slags from ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy
- Concepts to recover valuable materials from residues for a more efficient material cycle closure
- Characterization of raw materials for iron and steel production
Regarding the chemistry and reaction phenomena of metallurgical slags, it is known that slag properties such as viscosity play an important role for the phase interaction inside metallurgical reactors. The knowledge of diffusion and activity coefficients of certain elements as well as the activity of oxygen in slags is necessary to get a deeper understanding of the slag chemistry during metallurgical processes. Therefore, fundamental research work will be done to develop measurement methods for a determination of material data such as viscosity, diffusivity as well as electrochemical properties (e.g. electrical conductivity). Within this research activity, measurement methods developed from other research groups will be evaluated regarding their application to specific slag systems.
Another important part of Area 1 is based on the treatment of metallurgical residuals such as dusts or slags and contribute to the center’s target of an increased circular economy. Pyrometallurgical process concepts should be enhanced to pilot-plant scale. This will include the recovery of valuable materials (metals and mineral fractions) from ferrous and nonferrous residues. It is the intention to generate product fractions with certain properties enabling a sector coupling with other industries.
For the nonferrous sector, processing routes for copper containing secondary materials should be defined to separate undesired impurities for an enlarged raw material basis and a more sustainable and economic refining process.
Apart from that, concepts for dust silos and bins are expected whereas the impact of characteristic properties and parameters such as grain size and moisture content and storage period on dust handling and storing should be determined.