The second review meeting of the European project ION4RAW was held on June 15, corresponding to month 36 of development. The project aims to develop a new and sustainable metallurgical process, aimed at the recovery of mineral by-products of interest through the use of Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES), ionic liquids that allow the leaching of metal ions.
During the meeting, the partners showed the progress made in the different tasks of the project. Lurederra presented its progress in the main activities in which it has worked, such as the valorisation of solid waste and the reuse of DES. In this sense, Lurederra has managed to develop a high-performance filtering system that is easily scalable and adaptable to different types of DES, which allows the separation of undissolved solids during DES leaching. In this way it is possible, on the one hand, to continue with the recovery process of metals of interest from the DES and, on the other hand, the reuse of the solids.
For the recovery of solids, a high-performance cleaning method has been developed that has allowed their incorporation into mortars. The mortars resulting from the incorporation of the undissolved solids were characterized in their mechanical properties, highlighting the good integration of the solids in the mortar formulation and the improvement observed in the flexural strength made in Lurederra in the Instron equipment.
On the other hand, work has been done on chemical pathways for the recovery of metals dissolved in DES after leaching. For this, various ways have been studied with which the extraction or decantation of the same has been achieved. In this way, during the coming months, the possible combination of these routes will be studied which, together with the electrochemical route that is also being developed in the project, allows the recovery of the metals of interest and also eliminates the greatest amount of metals possible for the future reuse of the DES.