1) Precious metals and water technology

This session explores the latest development in using precious metals for water treatment and to use water treatment to recovery precious metals.


Tom Hennebel, Ghent University & Umicore:
Biometallurgy is a branch of process metallurgy that exploits the interactions between metals and living organisms. These technologies have been used in a wide range of applications reaching from primary mining to bioremediation, employing many different organisms varying from plants to microorganisms. One of the biggest successes of biometallurgy is the biomining of copper and the beneficiation of gold ores. In this presentation, we will discuss how the success in this field can be translated to the field of secondary mining, i.e. mining of waste or process streams. Three trajectories, all of them using microorganisms, will be used as examples: (i) the bioleaching of Ni and Cu from automotive shredder residues and tailings, (ii) the recovery of Pt and Pd from process streams and (iii) the bioprecipitation of Se,Te and As from wastewaters. Finally, an industrial perspective on how biometallurgy fits in the metallurgical sector and in the circular and slow economy will be provided.

Steve van Zutphen, Italmatch:
This presentation focuses on unique water-treatment resins for the selective capture of precious metals. Resins that display extreme selectivity for platinum group metals (PGM) when filtering strong acids containing excess common (first row) transition metals and other components. This technology was developed at a start-up company called Magpie and is now growing within the multinational chemical manufacturer Italmatch Chemicals.
By taking an example of MPX-310 resin use in silver refining, this presentation will take us through the innovation process and illustrate how both listening to the customers and understanding the technology can leverage innovation from the laboratory to the market.

Adriaan W. Jeremiasse, Anodes division of Evoqua Water Technologies:
Evoqua Water Technologies offers various electrochemical technologies for water treatment, for example to separate salts from water (electrodialysis), produce ultrapure water (electrodeionization) or disinfect through in-situ production of oxidants (e.g. active chlorine). Each of these technologies makes use of Ti-based electrodes, coated with a precious metal coating. The Anodes division (MAGNETO) of Evoqua Water Technologies develops robust and effective electrodes to drive these processes. In this presentation, current status and outlook of electrodes for these, and novel electrochemical water treatment technologies are discussed.

Jeffery Preece, Electric Power Research Institute:
Over the next ten years, it is anticipated that challenges related to management and treatment of water containing selenium compounds from various industrial applications will be addressed by implementation of new technologies and processes. Already there are examples of selenium treatment in commercial operation for mining, power generation, and metals manufacturing worldwide. Implementation of technologies has proven challenging in some cases, and with the potential for new restrictions/mandates, many stakeholders are focused on evaluating options for improving treatment reliability and reducing costs. EPRI is taking steps to seek worldwide participation in collaborative research, conduct outreach to international stakeholders, and learn from global experiences that could assist with defining research needs, conducting development and demonstration projects, and ultimately provide benefits and value to the general public. A summary of treatment perspectives for various applications, challenges faced in recent demonstration projects, and ongoing/planned research and development will be presented.



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