Today's waste materials are tomorrow's raw materials#
Processing technologies are required both in mining in order to extract raw materials and in recycling to recover secondary raw materials. In addition to the conventional methods of crushing or grinding for breaking up materials mechanically, techniques used to process composites should ideally not only break up the materials but also separate them at the same time. One such separation process is “electrodynamic fragmentation”: This enables complex inorganic composites such as ash, slags, ceramics or concrete to be selectively separated.
Fine-grained materials can be processed using solution-oriented hydrothermal techniques or special sorting methods. Heavy metals can be selectively precipitated and separated, or fine-grained materials sorted according to their chemical content. If impurities are chemically bound (e.g. sulphate in aerated concrete), wet-chemical methods such as the “ENSUBA” process developed and patented at Fraunhofer IBP can be implemented.
Our experts in “Processing and Recovery” have set themselves the task of finding the optimum solution for each problem fraction. To achieve this, they are combining existing technologies with new processing methods that they are developing. In cooperation with the "Building Materials Technology" unit, for example, they have succeeded in producing aerated concrete from mixed building rubble.