Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering

Mineral Processing and Recycling

Among the major issues facing our modern, civilized world is an ever-increasing demand of raw materials. For that reason, the aim of our group is to find technological solutions to address the current needs related to the production of inorganic raw materials, whether from primary or secondary sources.
Serna_Mineral Processing and recycling
Serna group_Mineral processing and recycling

Our research areas:

  1. Process engineering in service of the circular economy of raw materials

  2. Green chemistry for mineral froth flotation

  3. Physical separation technologies for recycling


Our current research activities include:

  1. Fundamental understanding of interfacial phenomena in mineral froth flotation

  2. Green chemical systems in mineral froth flotation

  3. New physical separation operations for battery waste

  4. Statistical entropy analysis supported by process simulation as a parameter of materials circularity

Serna group_research_batteries_scraps

The Research Group for Mineral Processing and Recycling is led by Prof. Rodrigo Serna. Our approach is to study the underlying phenomena responsible of the performance of mineral processing operations. Of particular interest is the study of the interfacial phenomena occurring during mineral enrichment, in order to gain a practical understanding on the correlation between adsorptive or surface chemical reactions and the macroscopic performance of the operations. Through the understanding of the phenomena involved, it may be possible to propose novel chemical systems that could further improve the efficiency of currently used enrichment operations, or even propose new processing methods altogether. The research group also counts with expertise in computational fluid dynamics with which alternative processing systems or new designs of mechanical components can be tested.

Our current research projects deal with the exploration of green chemicals for flotation and the quality and potential cross-contamination in water circuits. Our research group is also responsible for the courses related to mineral processing and recycling, including fundamentals, unit operations and plant design.

Serna group_recycling_publication
Cover pic of a journal by our group

Join us!

  • We are constantly looking for opportunities to improve the way in which we produce raw materials. We believe there is a better way for mining and recycling, both with new technologies and the active involvement of society. If you would like to know more about our group’s activities, please contact us ([email protected]).
  • Are you already a student at Aalto looking for thesis topics or internships? Please enquire directly with us about opportunities ([email protected])
  • Interested on Doctoral studies in our team? Please check Aalto careers website for available positions

Latest publications:

A multivariate approach for evaluation and monitoring of water quality in mining and minerals processing industry

Thi Minh Khanh Le, Mikko Mäkelä, Nóra Schreithofer, Olli Dahl 2020 Minerals Engineering

Amphiphilic cellulose and surfactant mixtures as green frothers in mineral flotation. 1. Characterization of interfacial and foam stabilization properties

Ted Nuorivaara, Rodrigo Serna-Guerrero 2020 Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects

Amphiphilic cellulose and surfactant mixtures as green frothers in mineral flotation. 2. Flotation of chalcopyrite and Cu-containing tailings

Ted Nuorivaara, Rodrigo Serna-Guerrero 2020 Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects

Nickel Metal Hydride Battery Waste

Antti Porvali, Severi Ojanen, Benjamin P. Wilson, Rodrigo Serna-Guerrero, Mari Lundström 2020 Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy

Integrating flotation and pyrometallurgy for recovering graphite and valuable metals from battery scrap

Ronja Ruismäki, Tommi Rinne, Anna Dańczak, Pekka Taskinen, Rodrigo Serna-Guerrero, Ari Jokilaakso 2020 Metals
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
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