Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Innovative solutions for urban mining

31.05.2013
Urban mining is a performed by extracting metal resources from electronic products. Gold from PCBs and Lithium from seawater - read more about Prof. Jai-Koo Park of Hanyang University on his research into urban mining.

Jai-Koo Park of Natural Resources and Environmental Engineering is the director of the Mineral Processing and Environment Processing Lab at Hanyang University.



Park’s recent publications include "Millimeter-sized spherical ion-sieve foams with hierarchical pore structure for recovery of lithium from seawater" in the Chemical Engineering Journal, and "Preparation of Sizable and Uniform-Sized Spherical Ceramic Foams: Drop-in-oil and Agar Gelation" in the Journal of American Ceramic Society.

While alternative energy is considered a substitute for our reliance on oil, as of yet there has not been found a substantial replacement source for metal resources. Limitations of natural resources and constant increases in prices have brought a sense of urgency to the importance of ‘urban mining’.

Urban mining is a performed by extracting metal resources from electronic products. The traditional form of mining involves prospecting, mining, and processing. However, urban mining only requires processing, thus reducing the costs of investing in prospecting and mining.

The question lies on the methodology. After comminution, a proper crushing and grinding process, the materials go through concentration and separation. The particle comparatively affluent with metal element, placed in an aqueous solution, will then be divided via leaching.

During comminution, importance lies on the liberation of valuable metal. After solvent extraction, porous nano-materials are applied in the process of separating metallic ions from the aqueous solution.

In the past, Park focused his research on creating innovative porous ceramic materials. By redirecting his expertise in porous ceramic materials, Park applied his work to the recovery of materials.

For example, in an effort to effectively recover Au (gold), Park devised innovative methods of liberating and separating valuable metal sources from printed circuit boards (PCBs). One technique of Prof. Park’s for recovering valuable metal sources from PCBs of disposed small domestic appliances involves using a device for separating electronic components from printed circuit board assembly (PCBA). Another of his technique separates valuable metal from pulverized PCB.

In addition, Park’s research interest also lies in securing lithium. Major growth in the lithium-ion battery industry has led to an increase in lithium demand. Lithium ion-sieves (LISs) have found to be suitable for lithium recovery from seawater due to their low toxicity, low cost, and high chemical stability.

An alternative solution was provided by Park in which he succeeded in recovering lithium from seawater by using millimeter-sized spherical ion-sieve foams.

Park diligently researched to find an absorbent for lithium and was finally able to determine that millimeter-sized SIFs prepared from spinel lithium manganese oxide via a combined process of foaming, drop-in-oil, and agar gelation was the solution.

Park’s method uses an aqueous agar solution as the binder, resulting in an environmental friendly, rapid gelation at low temperatures, that has high gelling strength, low manufacturing cost, and involves a simple manufacturing process.

Current research is underway in extracting medium and heavy rare earth minerals such as Ce and La from heavy minerals such as monazite or illmenite recovered from sub-marine sediment. Moreover, Park is focusing on developing a minetailing geopolymer for back filing of mine goaf as a means of recycling by-products of mines.

Article written by Jisoo Lee: themanjsl@hanyang.ac.kr

Joohong Ahnn | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.hanyang.ac.kr/english/
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Materials scientist creates fabric alternative to batteries for wearable devices
12.11.2018 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

nachricht A new path through the looking-glass
12.11.2018 | Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The dawn of a new era for genebanks - molecular characterisation of an entire genebank collection

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Fish recognize their prey by electric colors

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Ultrasound Connects

13.11.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>