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:

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

A recycling process for thermoelectric devices developed with the support of statistical entropy analysis

O. Velázquez-Martinez, A. Kontomichalou, A. Santasalo-Aarnio, M. Reuter, A. J. Karttunen, M. Karppinen, R. Serna-Guerrero 2020 Resources, Conservation and Recycling

Study of butyl-amine nanocrystal cellulose in the flotation of complex sulphide ores

Raquel Lopéz, Helga Jordão, Robert Hartmann, Ari Ämmälä, M. Teresa Carvalho 2019 Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects

Electro-hydraulic fragmentation vs conventional crushing of photovoltaic panels – Impact on recycling

Sanna Mari Nevala, Joseph Hamuyuni, Tero Junnila, Tuomas Sirviö, Stefan Eisert, Benjamin P. Wilson, Rodrigo Serna-Guerrero, Mari Lundström 2019 Waste Management

Environmental remediation of sulfidic tailings with froth flotation

Ted Nuorivaara, Anna Björkqvist, John Bacher, Rodrigo Serna-Guerrero 2019 Journal of Environmental Management

Mechanical and hydrometallurgical processes in HCl media for the recycling of valuable metals from Li-ion battery waste

Antti Porvali, Miamari Aaltonen, Severi Ojanen, Omar Velazquez Martinez, Emmi Eronen, Fupeng Liu, Benjamin P. Wilson, Rodrigo Serna Guerrero, Mari Lundström 2019 RESOURCES CONSERVATION AND RECYCLING
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
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