Energy Efficiency in Rocks Comminution using High Power Microwaves

Reference number
Coordinator Uppsala universitet - Avdelningen för fasta tillståndets elektronik
Funding from Vinnova SEK 500 000
Project duration March 2019 - December 2019
Status Ongoing
Venture The strategic innovation programme for mining and metal recovery – STRIM
Call Strategic innovation programme for mining and metal producing industry – 2018

Purpose and goal

The purpose is to investigating the potential of using high power microwaves to improve drilling and comminution processes, i.e. crushing and grinding rocks. Our aim is to develop an energy efficient process and therefore contribute to a sustainable raw materials supply, for the aim of expanding the country’s geological potential. We aim also at strengthen the competitiveness of the sector by creating a new technological paradigm, based on using high power microwaves for the mining industry. With the results of this pre-study, we aim at embarking on a larger full-scale project.

Expected results and effects

Achievements foreseen are a working prototype and demonstration of advances for the new technology, as follows: (i) demonstration of a reduction in energy for the comminution process, (ii) tests at high-power levels (not reached before) with new specially designed microwave applicators, (iii) Identification of the optimal exposure parameters, (iv) investigation of the potential to upscale the technology towards a larger project and (v) evaluate the technical-economical possibilities of the larger project.

Planned approach and implementation

D1.1: Optimal project management D2.1: Preliminary exposure to high power microwaves D2.2: Investigation of microwave energy power sources i.e. transistor D2.3: Identification of the optimal parameters for the comminution process D3.1: Characterization of rocks D3.2: Development of a method to measure in real time the mechanical characteristics of the rocks D4.1: Analysis of cracks nucleation and optimal exposure parameters D4.2: Post-exposure rocks analysis using X-ray µCT D5.1: Technical-economical evaluation D5.2: Concepts development for project upscaling.

External links

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