New Christian-Doppler-Laboratory at the University of Leoben

A new Christian-Doppler-Laboratory at the Universtiy of Leoben is concerned with the processing of heavy-metal-containing residues from industry. The research project "Optimisation and Biomass Application in the Recycling of Heavy Metals" is led by Dipl.-Ing. Dr.mont. Jürgen Antrekowitsch from the Chair of Nonferrous Metallurgy, and is supported by Voestalpine, RHI, Befesa and Aurubis.

"Due to the strict environmental regulations for disposal, but also due to the rising prices for metal, the interest in developing efficient recycling technologies has been increasing", Antrekowitsch explained.

Typical residual materials like dust and sludges originate, for example, from the production of steel, copper and zinc as well as from the processing of car and electronics scrap. "In this context, is crucial to increase the efficiency of these recycling processes in which often only small quantities of valuable metals are recovered, but at the same time generate even more problematic residues", Antrekowitsch stressed. "With an improved process technology, it is possible to not only reduce the landfill volume and costs, but also to minimise the energy input as well as CO2 emissions from fossil carbon carriers."

Research objective:environmentally compatible metal production


The research objective and fields of work at the new CD-lab are divided into three areas:

1.) By using biomass charcoal, fossil carbon carriers can be substituted. This leads to an almost CO2 neutral process.

2.) Increasing the product qualities allows the direct application in a wide number of uses without having to go through energy-intensive and expensive metal production processes once again.

3.) Due to the recycling of several valuable components, the remnants and, as a consequence the landfill volume, are reduced to a minimum.

"By pursuing these aims in cooperation with the industrial partners, we plan to achieve not only scientific and technological progress, but also to make an essential contribution to a sustainable and environmentally-compatible metal production ", Antrekowitsch said.


Five CD-labs in operation at the University of Leoben


The Christian-Doppler-Laboratories are technical and scientific research institutions which were founded at Austrian universities in the year of 2000. They are named after the Austrian physicist and mathematician, Christian Andreas Doppler. The laboratories are funded by the public sector (Republic of Austria) and the industrial partners of the Christian-Doppler Research Association. Currently, there are five CD-labs in operation at the University of Leoben.

Further Information:
Priv.-Doz. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.mont. Jürgen Antrekowitsch 
Montanuniversität Leoben, Arbeitsbereich Nichteisenmetallurgie 
Phone: 03842/402– 5203