Code: CHEM3026

Credits: 60 + 45 ECTS cr

Professor in charge: Michael Gasik

The major Sustainable Metals Processing is a specialist field that deals with the extraction of metals and mineral products from primary and secondary resources through the application of scientific principles. Considered is the bigger cycle of materials linking rigorously to product design, material science, energy recovery and bio-materials.

The major focuses in a multi-scale approach to the relevant physical and chemical phenomena in the processes. It covers atom-level basics of relevant phenomena, explains how unit process level models and design practices can be derived from them, and considers integrated metals extraction plants and their material flows. An important factor is sustainability of metals extraction and the system approach allowing the availability of metals over their life cycles. The aim is to educate engineers with a deep understanding on how sciences are applied with engineering skills in the metallurgical industries. They will act as metallurgical processing experts in various industries, are capable of evaluating equipment and process designs and designing feasible as well as sustainable metals extraction processes with the help of numeric simulation tools.

Learning outcomes

The core scientific and engineering knowledge to be obtained:

  • Adequate knowledge of transport phenomena in homogeneous, heterogeneous and particulate systems, and a general knowledge of their atom-level origins; knowledge of their mutual interactions in extraction and refining operations and how their equipment and processes are designed.
  • Adequate knowledge of chemical kinetics in various fields related to metallurgical processing industries.
  • Knowledge about chemical thermodynamic, phase equilibrium and property calculations.
  • Understanding on chemical equilibria, process dynamics, system engineering and their connections to process design, the best practices and flow-sheet integration.
  • Understanding on societal, economic and environmental impacts to process designs and responsibilities related to metal making on the basis of system engineering.

Core scientific and engineering skills to be developed:

  • System engineering and its connections to process design, the best practices and flow-sheet integration thus quantified sustainability linking product design and geology to metal production while also considering links to energy recovery as well as water recycling.
  • Study experimentally metals extraction reactors and unit processes at low and high temperatures, gather data and evaluate process performance.
  • Model, develop and optimize production equipment, processes and plants with the help of numerical tools.
  • Act as metallurgical engineering expert in multidisciplinary groups developing feasible metals extraction processes, equipment and plants.

Content and structure

For the major (60 ECTS + 45 ECTS credits) the students have to take common and compulsory studies 45 cr + 40 cr. Additionally each student needs to select two blocks (10 cr each) of specialisation studies, total 20 cr.


Table 1. Common compulsory courses (4-5 cr)

CHEM-E0100Academic Learning Community45IV / 1st

Table 2. Compulsory core courses (40 cr)

CHEM-E6100Fundamentals of Chemical Thermodynamics5I / 1st
CHEM-E6130Metal Recycling Technologies5II / 1st
CHEM-E6140Fundamentals of Minerals Engineering and Recycling5I / 1st
CHEM-E6160Fundamentals of Pyrometallurgy5II / 1st
CHEM-E6180Fundamentals of Hydrometallurgy5III / 1st
CHEM-E7130Process Modeling5II / 1st
CHEM-E6225Technical Innovation Project10III / 2nd

Table 3. Specialisation courses (choose two 10 cr “blocks”, total 20 cr)

Thermodynamics of Materials:
CHEM-E6105Thermodynamics of Solutions5IIIV / 1st or 2nd
CHEM-E6115Thermodynamics of Modeling and Simulation5IIIIV / 1st or 2nd
Sustainability of Metals:
CHEM-E6215Circular Economy Design Forum P5IVV / 1st or 2nd
CHEM-E6235Circular Economy for Materials Processing5IIIIV / 1st or 2nd
Ore Dressing and Recycling:
CHEM-E6145Unit Operations in Mineral Processing and Recycling5IIIIV / 1st or 2nd
CHEM-E6155Minerals Engineering Project Work5IIIV / 1st or 2nd
CHEM-E6165Unit Processes in Pyrometallurgy5IIIIV / 1st or 2nd
CHEM-E6205Metallurgical Engineering Project Work5IVV / 1st or 2nd
CHEM-E6185Applied Electrochemistry and Corrosion5IIIIV / 1st or 2nd
CHEM-E6195Unit Processes and Systems in Hydrometallurgy5IVV / 1st or 2nd
Chemical Engineering:
CHEM-E7150Reaction Engineering5II / 1st or 2nd
CHEM-E7120Laboratory Project in Chemical Engineering5III-V / 1st or 2nd

For the elective studies to accompany the major, students can choose an individual research project related to their specialization studies:

CHEM-E6210Individual Research Project5 or 10III or IIIIV or V / 1st or 2nd

Note! Course CHEM-E6210 Individual Research Project will be organized first time in spring 2019.