Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering

Metallurgy

The Research Group for Metallurgy is led by Prof. Ari Jokilaakso, and our activities cover a large area from the life span of a metal product, starting from the making of metal, continuing with the making of metal products and their behaviour at high temperatures and ending in recycling and waste utilisation.
Pyrometallurgy_research Ronja Ruismäki, photo Valeria Azovskaya

Our research areas:

  1. Physicochemical fundamentals and modelling of metallurgical operations

  2. Kinetics of metallurgical reactions especially in non-ferrous metals production

  3. Recycling of e-scrap and energy storage materials in pyrometallurgical processes

The current research activities focus on physicochemical fundamentals and modelling of metallurgical operations, slags, mattes, ceramics and other high-temperature materials. Processes that benefit from this research include modern extractive and refining processes for ferrous and non-ferrous metals, casting and solidification as well as materials synthesis and behaviour at high temperatures. The main emphasis is on better understanding of metallurgical phenomena by combining experimental studies with computer simulation and modelling.

The Group’s strengths include expertise in thermodynamics, kinetics and transport phenomena as well as solid qualification in experimental research and material characterization.

Our research highlights:

Beheviour of batteries
A typical sample microstructure
  • Behavior of Battery Metals Lithium, Cobalt, Manganese and Lanthanum in Black Copper Smelting:

Recycling of metals from different waste streams must be increased in the near future for securing the availability of metals that are critical for high-tech applications, such as batteries for e-mobility. Black copper smelting is a flexible recycling route for many different types of scrap, including Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and some end-of-life energy storage materials. Fundamental thermodynamic data about the behavior of battery metals and the effect of slag additives is required for providing data necessary for process development, control, and optimization. The goal of our study is to investigate the suitability of black copper smelting process for recycling of battery metals lithium, cobalt, manganese, and lanthanum.

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Outotec flash smelting furnace
Illustration of the Outotec flash smelting furnace
  • Computational Approaches for Studying Slag–MatteInteractions in the Flash Smelting Furnace(FSF) Settler:

Computational methods have become reliable tools in many disciplines for research andindustrial design. There are, however, an ever-increasing number of details waiting to be included inthe models and software, including, e.g., chemical reactions and many physical phenomena, such asparticle and droplet behavior and their interactions. The dominant method for copper production,flash smelting, has been extensively investigated, but the settler part of the furnace containing moltenhigh temperature melts termed slag and matte, still lacks a computational modeling tool. In this paper,two commercial modeling software programs have been used for simulating slag–matte interactionsin the settler, the target being first to develop a robust computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeland, second, to apply a new approach for molten droplet behavior in a continuum. The latter isbased on CFD coupled with the discrete element method (DEM), which was originally developedfor modeling solid particle–particle interactions and movement, and is applied here for individualdroplets for the first time.

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Kinetics_rare elements
A): SEM-secondary electron image of laser pits in matte phase. (B): Time-resolved analysis signals for neodymium (143Nd) of the LA-ICP-MS measurements on the copper sulfide mattes of samples contacted in air for 20 s and 300 s at 1300 °C.
  • Distribution Kinetics of Rare Earth Elements in Copper Smelting:

The use of rare earth elements (REEs) is increasing, mainly due to the growing demand for electric vehicles and new applications in green technology. This results in annual growth of the in-use REE stocks and the amount of End-of-Life (EoL) products containing REEs. REEs are considered critical elements by the EU, mainly because the rest of the world is dependent on China’s supply. Recycling of REEs can help alleviate the criticality of REEs, however, no REEs are currently functionally recycled. In this study, the time-dependent behavior of REEs in copper matte-slag system in primary copper smelting conditions was investigated experimentally at a laboratory scale.

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LabPhoto_Glen Forde

“Metallurgy – Work that has a meaning”: metallurgy / metallurgists will save the world as the modern life is not possible without metals.

Ari Jokilaakso

"Green” energy and electrification of vehicles need more metals (exponentially increasing amounts) and, therefore, metals production has to be developed for maximized yield and all metal products should be recycled back to metals production, which necessitates metallurgical basic research work.

- Ari Jokilaakso

Related content:

Photo: Mikko Raskinen

Metallurgists are needed to fix the sustainability gap

Professor of Metallurgy Ari Jokilaakso’s researches the behaviour of chemical elements at high temperatures. He wants to give students a real understanding of chemical phenomena.

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Latest publications:

Precious metal recoveries in secondary copper smelting with high-alumina slags

Katri Avarmaa, Hugh O’Brien, Lassi Klemettinen, Pekka Taskinen 2020 JOURNAL OF MATERIAL CYCLES AND WASTE MANAGEMENT

Characterization of Copper Smelting Flue Dusts from a Bottom-Blowing Bath Smelting Furnace and a Flash Smelting Furnace

Yujie Chen, Zongwen Zhao, Pekka Taskinen, Yanjie Liang, Hongchuan Ouyang, Bing Peng, Ari Jokilaakso, Songlin Zhou, Tao Chen, Ning Peng, Hui Liu 2020 Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B: Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science

Equilibrium of Copper Matte and Silica-Saturated Iron Silicate Slags at 1300 °C and PSO2 of 0.5 atm

Min Chen, Katri Avarmaa, Lassi Klemettinen, Junjie Shi, Pekka Taskinen, Daniel Lindberg, Ari Jokilaakso 2020 Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B: Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science

Experimental Study on the Phase Equilibrium of Copper Matte and Silica-Saturated FeO x-SiO2-Based Slags in Pyrometallurgical WEEE Processing

Min Chen, Katri Avarmaa, Lassi Klemettinen, Junjie Shi, Pekka Taskinen, Ari Jokilaakso 2020 Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B: Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science

Phase equilibria of the CaO–SiO2–TiO2–Al2O3–MgO system in air at 1250–1400 °C

Min Chen, Junjie Shi, Pekka Taskinen, Ari Jokilaakso 2020 Ceramics International

Recovery of Precious Metals (Au, Ag, Pt, and Pd) from Urban Mining Through Copper Smelting

Min Chen, Katri Avarmaa, Lassi Klemettinen, Hugh O’Brien, Dmitry Sukhomlinov, Junjie Shi, Pekka Taskinen, Ari Jokilaakso 2020 Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B: Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science

Behavior of Battery Metals Lithium, Cobalt, Manganese and Lanthanum in Black Copper Smelting

Anna Danczak, Lassi Klemettinen, Matti Kurhila, Pekka Taskinen, Daniel Lindberg, Ari Jokilaakso 2020 Batteries

Effect of Cooling Rate and Slag Modification on the Copper Matte in Smelting Slag

Xiang Gao, Zhuo Chen, Junjie Shi, Pekka Taskinen, Ari Jokilaakso 2020 Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
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