BRAVO – Critical Raw Materials

The BRAVO EIP Raw Materials Commitment is a gathering of key sector players to create a pan-European raw materials knowledge base, developing innovative, sustainable technological solutions to access new raw materials from residues and establishing a friendly legal framework regarding mining waste and economically attractive environment across the EU, which takes into account environmental and social aspects. Al-Source is one of the five BRAVO EIP Project Areas.

Al-Source: Using the red mud by-product as a source of critical raw materials including gallium, titanium, selium, germanium, dysprosium, cerium (pilot activity)

Al-Source is closely linked with another BRAVO area, Al- Build, in that the output fraction of the Al-source project is the input fraction for the Al-build project where the bulk material will be recovered and processed for the construction sector.

 

BRAVO Activity : Al-Source

Al-Source focuses on using the bauxite residue (red mud) as a source of critical raw materials including gallium, titanium, selium, germanium, dysprosium and cerium.

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These complex wastes contain high value metals in small volume fractions combined with a low grade bulk component composed of iron oxides. Spent Pot Lining waste materials will also be investigated for commercial value and viable downstream processing options. The effect of varying composition due to differing sources of materials (composition and grain size) and processing parameters will also be quantified.

These projects will combine a series of complex and integrated solutions to convert residue wastes to raw materials and products. Al-Source will include developing a holistic design and optimisation of an integrated metallurgical system (including pyro-, hydro-, bio-, electro-chemistry) for the metal recovery from red mud and residues. This will be done via the expertise of the BRAVO commitment (involving academia, industry and technology suppliers) in metallurgy. [While Al-build will focus on the remaining bulk low grade residue, investigating techniques and processes from alternative industries including the construction sector].

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BRAVO Impacts : Al-Source

The key impacts of Al-Source allied to Al-Build include:

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  • To unlock the volume of various raw materials from red mud residue & increase the range and yields of recovered raw materials [measurement: achieve gallium, titanium, selium, germanium, dysprosium and cerium recovery]
  • To result in higher economic viability and investment security of processing operations
  • To push Europe to the forefront in the area of raw materials processing technologies
  • To increase availability of recovered raw material and create added value products through reducing the quantities of the industrial waste and residues to be disposed or landfilled. [Measurement: 15% of residue redirected from land fill at test facility]
  • To create new jobs in processing.

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Featured Project: Al-Source funded by Irish EPA

BRAVO EIP has a live project called Al-Source (yes, same title as the overall project area) looking at valuable metal recovery from bauxite residue that is funded by the Irish EPA, €350,000 in 2015.

Project Statement

Al-Source aims to illustrate the value content in Irish Bauxite Residue via both re-use and recovery techniques, therefore turning residue waste into a resource for rare earths and phosphorus.

Objectives and Targets

  • To unlock the volume of various valuable materials ?from bauxite residue & increase the range and yields of recovered raw materials [measurement: achieve recovery of? valuable materials potentially including gallium, titanium, selium, germanium, dysprosium and cerium]
  • To illustrate the re-use potential of bauxite residue [measurement: achieve phosphorus separation from waste water using modified bauxite residue as filter]
  • To add value tp the area of raw materials processing technologies [Measurement: 1 key note speech; 2 PhDs]
  • To result in higher economic viability and investment security of processing operations [Measurement: 1 invention disclosure and strategy document to illustrate viability of new technology]

Fully funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Ireland, this project is also supported by Rusal with active involvement and input.

 

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