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Hydrometallurgy piloting

Turn your side stream into reusable material cost efficiently – contact VTT to see what your options are!

VTT’s separation technologies and capabilities include a newly established mobile pilot environment, Flexmet, for hydrometallurgical processing. We offer related expertise to separate metals from different sources.

Our methodology includes custom-made leaching solutions, selective separation and recovery from metals containing material streams and the efficient means of utilizing them. Furthermore, we offer characterization of residues and precipitates and expertise for safe deposition.

Hands-on industrial experience combined to scientific understanding 

Our experts have years of industrial and academic experience in metals processing technologies and the selective recovery of metals from streams. This also includes separation of toxic and harmful substances from streams into more stable form.

Our competence covers hydrometallurgical and biohydrometallurgical processing methodology for metals, including precious metals and critical metals leaching and recovery from different material feeds. Both primary and secondary feed materials including metals containing wastes and side streams are examined for better and more selective recovery of metals. 

Flexible design for batch and continuous trials

Our Flexmet hydrometallurgical processing system consists of novel titanium reactors for leaching and precipitation including cementation stage, and continuous solvent extraction mixer-settler equipment.

The Flexmet pilot system can be used for both batch trials and continuous bench-piloting at a 1-5 L/h throughput scale.

The experimental work is supported by in-house thermochemical modelling tools and customized flowsheet models for the client.

The main customer focus sectors are the mining and metals processing industry, and recycling companies. 

VTT is heavily involved in raw materials processing and in the Green mining programme and several EIP Commitments related to hydrometallurgy. Also, critical metals and REE affairs in EU advisory bodies in European Innovation Platform on Raw materials (EIP RM) and European Rare Earth Competence Network (ERECON). 

The metals separation process development is required to improve yields. Flexmet piloting is the next step from batch experiments to validate and provide proof of concept of a new process. The process concept choice is strongly linked to environmental performance and capex and opex of the industrial scale system.