Research project

Recovery of gold from the secondary resources by novel electrochemical reactors realized
with additive manufacturing
Kullan talteenotto vaihtoehtoisista raaka-aineista uusilla 3D-tulostuksella toteutetuilla sähkökemiallisilla reaktoreilla

Principal Investigator

Project Details
Start date: 01/09/2019
End date: 31/08/2023

Academy of Finland


Gold mining is very expensive industry and therefore opportunities resulting in low cost gold production are needed, which is spurring the utilization of tailings as well as other secondary resources. Gold is also one of the most wasteful metals where almost 99% ends up as waste and produced tailings are causing huge environmental risks. Therefore, it would be extremely important to enhance the gold recovery from the secondary resources. In this project, novel electrochemical reactors are constructed by using additive manufacturing (AM) and investigated for electrochemical production of chlorine for efficient gold leaching from the solid residues followed by its selective recovery. Especially, closed-loop gold recovery with zero emissions will be obtained. Additive manufacturing provides novel manufacturing method of very complex shapes and geometries, and this is why it enables fabrication of totally new design of electrodes by requirements of targeted applications. This freedom in design of electrodes can remarkably enhance efficiency of electrochemical reactors. At the same time, important knowhow via monitoring related to the additive manufacturing of electrodes with versatile and complex geometries from different materials will be achieved. Electro-efficiency of the recovery systems are maximized in order to increase the sustainability of the novel processes. This project is realized as a tight cooperation between two research teams LUT SepPur (Assoc. Prof. Eveliina Repo) and LUT Laser (Docent Heidi Piili) from Lappeenranta University of Technology and important national and international collaborators from both academy and industrial sectors. Both participating groups have their own expertise i.e. hydrometallurgy and additive manufacturing, which are needed in order to reach the goals of the project. As this project has a high scientific impacts, it also produces viable technology from the business point of view giving new opportunities for both SMEs and
extractive industry. Furthermore, this project will promote the establishment of a totally new research field in Finland.

Gold recovery, electrochemical leaching, chlorine leaching, mine tailing, additive manufacturing, 3D printing, secondary resources,
electrolysis, energy efficiency, recycling of valuable metals, electrochemical reactors, modeling, monitoring

LUT Focus Areas

Last updated on 2019-20-08 at 12:50