Processing technologies are used both in mining to extract raw materials and in recycling to recover secondary raw materials. In addition to conventional crushing or grinding, composites need to be processed using methods that not only reduce the size of the material but also separate it into its various constituents. One such process is electrodynamic fragmentation, which cleanly sorts complex inorganic composites such as ashes, slags, refractory concretes or concrete.
Fine-grained materials can be processed with selective hydrothermal techniques or special sorting methods: In this way, heavy metals are selectively precipitated and separated, and fine-grained materials sorted according to chemical criteria. If impurities are chemically bound, such as sulfate in aerated concrete, wet-chemical methods like the patented “ENSUBA” process developed by Fraunhofer IBP can be implemented.
Our scientists have made it their business to find the best solution for each problem fraction by combining established as well as new processing methods. For instance, they have demonstrated that aerated concrete can be produced from mixed building rubble.
We are convinced: today's waste materials are tomorrow's raw materials.