ObjectiveAware of the importance to ensure long-term availability of mineral resources but conscious about the high risks of supply disruption in Europe, IONRAW proposes an innovative, clean and sustainable solution: the recovery of mineral by-products from primary sources. In ION4RAW, the minerals by-products considered are minerals present in waste mineral deposits, thus being the by-products of primary extracted minerals.
How will ION4RAW unlock the full potential of mineral by-products from primary sources?
The ION4RAW process is an ambitious initiative that results from the integration of different disciplines, namely: Mineralogy, Metallurgy, Electrochemistry, Mathematical & modelling optimisation, Sustainable assessment methodology, and Process & Chemical engineering.
Below are the different steps that the ION4RAW process encompasses:
MINERALS IDENTIFICATION & ASSESSEMENT
PROCESS LAB-SCALE DEVELOPMENT
A COMPREHENSIVE BY-PRODUCT POTENTIAL IDENTIFICATION AND ASSESSMENT
A LAB-SCALE DEVELOPMENT OF AN INNOVATIVE IONOMETALLURGICAL PROCESS
To do so, the ION4RAW innovative process combines two methods: the use of innovative, environmentally benign and biodegradable Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES) processed together with an advanced electrochemical method for metal recovery.
Discover more with our diagram on the link below
THE OPTIMISATION OF THE OVERALL ION4RAW PROCESS
The final solution is expect to improve the initially designed solution by 25%!
THE PROCESS DEMONSTRATION AND VALIDATION USING REAL SAMPLES
TRL5 is the expected Technology Readiness level of ION4RAW process!
THE ASSESSMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL, ECONOMIC AND TECHNICAL SUSTAINABILITY
A comprehensive market analysis will be carried out, as well as a technical feasibility study. As a result, an exploitation plan assessing the market potentials, the business model, the financial projections and the commercialisation roadmaps will be developed.
DEEP EUTECTIC SOLVENTS - THE PROCESS
What minerals is ION4RAW targeting?
Most of the targeted by-products elements are defined by the European commission as Critical Raw Materials, including Bismuth (Bi), Indium (In), and Antimony (Sb). The project is also working to ensure that it fits within a system capable of recovering major product metals, notably Copper (Cu), Silver (Ag) and Gold (Au). Other non-critical by-product metals may also be recovered, including Tellurium (Te).
As the ION4RAW project has advanced the TRL of its iono-metallurgical technology, it has become more apparent which of the original thirteen metals considered at the onset of the project are most amenable to full-scale production using DES leaching and recovery.
Therefore Cobalt, Germanium, Molybdenum, Platinum, Rhenium, and Selenium are no longer targeted by the project since their recovery rates were not significant. The ultimate commercial viability of the ION4RAW process will depend largely on technical performance metrics (e.g. rate of recovery, rate of purity) and economic factors (e.g. cost of materials, energy requirements, solubility time).
Why should you be interested in ION4RAW ?
- Mining companies
- Authorities and policy makers
- Research & academic scientific community
- End product manufacturers
ION4RAW allows mining companies to fully exploit by-product potential by recovering such by-products at their own facilities.
Authorities and policy makers
ION4RAW secures EU’s sustainable access to raw materials. By increasing by-products metal availability for EU, it reduces EU dependency on imports and strengthen EU competitiveness while minimising the environmental impact of mineral processing operations.
Research & academic scientific community
ION4RAW will advance research on Ionometallurgy process using Deep Eutectic Solvent (DES) ionic liquids and advanced electrochemical methods as an only step. ION4RAW also advances knowledge on raw materials’ availability in Europe.
The long-term availability of mineral resources is essential to maintain our modern life. More details about the importance of minerals here.
End product manufacturers
ION4RAW process will reduce supply risk of raw materials recovered as by-products from primary sources and thus improve the market price stability.