The AMIRA P986 project team led by Michael Moats includes faculty Mike Free, Chen-Luh Lin, Jan Miller, and Raj Rajamani and graduate research assistants Nikhil Dhawan, Adirek Janwong, Tim Phipps, Thien Vethosodsakda, and Heather Wampler.
The project has completed its second year. One significant finding was an easy method to predict how much moisture is needed to agglomerate crushed ore for heap leaching. Tim Phipps was the first student to graduate from this project, earning his Master of Engineering degree this past summer.
In Dr. Moats’s group, Francis Elnathan defended his PhD on how current reversal affects coated titanium anode lifetime and is now working on gold electrowinning. Prashant Bagri explored the effect of substrate materials on anode lifetime. Tyler Helsten expanded our current efficiency model for copper electro winning and will examine methods to evaluate cathode plating additives.
The depletion of conventional copper ores necessitates process alternatives to treat copper-arsenic ores. To avoid penalties, smelters must be able to deport and stabilize arsenic in a benign form meeting current and anticipated environ mental regulations. Sadegh Safarzadeh has found that the acid-bake leach process could possibly be adapted to treat copper-arsenic enargite concentrates.
These projects are all funded by industrial sponsors.
Prof. Mike Free's twelve researchers initiated a project, AMIRA P705B, to model metal deposi tion in commercial electro winning applications, collaborating with several researchers worldwide. Additional new projects involve evaluating gold extraction, removing metals from solution using biomass, and improving understanding of chalcopyrite leaching.
Their work in gold ore agglomeration, part of the AMIRA P986 project, resulted in a journal article and Thien Vethosodsakda's soon-to-be-defended MS thesis. They tested impurity control in copper electrorefining, initiated an electrorefining project, and studied by-product recovery in zir co nium processing.
Prediction of corrosion damage in alumi num alloys with naval applications received help from Prof. Keith Prisbrey; Argonne National Lab and the U’s Center for High Perfor mance Computing provided supercomputer support. They got very useful assistance at Oak Ridge National Lab using state-of-the-art transmission electron microscopy; Soumya Kar is writing his PhD dissertation in this area. Prashant Sarswat led efforts on new materials and manufacturing methods for solar cells, resulting in the synthesis of a new material and several publications.
Dr. Jan Miller’s student Dhiman Bhattacharyya is analyzing gold cyanide adsorption/desorption by activated carbon using traditional experimental techniques, molecular dynamics simulations and X-ray micro tomography.
Jan Miller’s mineral processing group uses high-resolution X-ray micro tomography (HRXMT) to study preferential grain boundary fracture; liberation-limited separation efficiency such as coal washability; and pore network structure of packed particle beds.
Three-dimensional HRXMT data map the complex structural geometries of engineered materials, allowing the mechanical properties to be defined. A newly acquired 1-terabyte computer facilitates computations. Similar analysis is planned to describe particle breakage in high-pressure grinding rolls.
Research Prof. Chen-Luh Lin manages the HRXMT Lab, with students Ken Hsieh, Ayush Tserendagva, Juan Francisco ?Medina, Joel Mejia and Dhiman Bhattacharyya.
PhD student Xihui Yin has made significant progress developing AFM procedures to examine the anisotropic surface charge and wetting characteristics of the face and edge surfaces of 500-nm kaolinite particles.
Grad students Xia Zhang, Jiaqi Jin, and Yan Wang are analyzing the surfaces of salt-type minerals using electrokinetic measure ments, surface spectroscopy, and molecular dynamics simulation. Xia is clarifying the surface properties of importance in flotation of the strategic rare earth mineral bastnasite (Ce, La, Y) CO3F.
Sum frequency vibrational spectro scopy (SFVS) experiments show that spectra of water films at hydrophilic silica surfaces differ significantly from those at hydrophobic surfaces. SFVS results obtained by Sandro Marino and Bo Pan for the dodecylamine/silica system indicate a significant increase in amine adsorption after bubble attachment.
Research Prof. Xuming Wang manages Dr. Miller’s surface chemistry labs and helps advise student researchers.
Dr. Miller’s research on process strategies for improved water recovery from clay tailings involves postdoc Dr. Shoeleh Assemi, as well as grad students Jing Liu and Xihui Yin.
Research Associate Prof. Weol D. Cho has been granted two US patents, “Methods and systems for removing copper from ferrous scrap,” and “Nitrogen removal from molten metal by slags containing titanium oxides.”
Dr. Sohn’s group welcomed PhD student Zhixue ‘Chris’ Yuan and undergrad assistant Tanner McFarlane. A student in the Siberian Russian Federation, Mairambek ‘Bek’ Raimzhanov of Kyrgyzstan, visited for two months. RIST, of Pohang, Korea, is supporting new work on vanadium recovery from black shale and on effective separation between distillation and melting processes of magnesium crown.
Dr. Moo Eob Choi (MS 2008, PhD ‘10) has been appointed Research Asst. Professor. He works on the AISI project, developing a suspension process to make iron directly from ore concentrate, avoiding the coke making and pelletization steps and drastically reducing CO2 emis sions. The project’s previous manager, Dr. Hang Goo Kim, returned to Korea as Director of Technology, Research Institute of POSCO M-Tech Co. in Pohang.
On-going work includes aerosol dynamics of zinc fume (ArcelorMittal); making ferro-manganese from low-grade ores (RIST); sulfur and nitrogen control under mass scrap melting in a converter (Pohang Steel Co.); and preparing high-aspect ratio wollastonite from recycled material (U.S.-Egypt Joint Science and Technology Board/NSF).
Dr. Sohn authored a monograph on chemical vapor synthesis of inorganic nanopowders, coauthored two book chapters, published twenty-one papers, and delivered two invited talks.
Prof. Guruswamy's group expanded into the exciting area of materials for plasmonics with his and Biswadeep Saha's involvement in the NSF-funded plasmonic focus group led by Dr. Ajay Nahata of Electrical Engineering.
Biswadeep and fellow PhD students Chai Ren and Meesu Ramanathan made progress in the on-going NSF-funded study of fundamental relations between structure, composi tion and magne to striction in Fe-based alloys. With support from Brady Butler (BS 2006, MS ‘10) of the Army Research Lab, Meesu and Chai carried out nanostructured melt-spun Mg-composite ribbons processing. Ms. Pallavi Chitta’s PhD work is on functionally designed zeolite structures for catalyst support in fuel conversion applications.
Zak Fang’s powder metallurgy group has fourteen members: a research asst. professor, Dr. Peng Fan; three postdocs, Drs. Xu Wang, Jane Guo, and Paul Chang; eight doctoral students, and two undergrad research assistants.
Projects include high-energy anodes for Li-ion battery applications (Argonne National Lab); an energy-efficient process for making TiO2 pigment (DOE/EERE-ITP); low-cost Ti alloys for biomedical implants, military, and automotive applications (CYMCO); and functionally graded cemented tungsten carbide (Heavystone Laboratory LLC).
Ravi Chandran's group studies fatigue, unconventional diffusion treatments, surface modification of titanium, and synthesis of bulk nanostructured materials. A new DMR-NSF project explores electrochemically induced phase transfor ma tions in negative electrodes in batteries. The U’s seed grant program supports a project examining the reversibility of electro chemical insertion of Li in Mg electrodes in cell operating conditions.
PhD student Madhusudan Jaghannadhan is researching reversible Li-Mg alloy negative electrodes in solid-state rechargeable batteries. Another new research direction is nano-scale phase transformations. The Metso project on minimum energy for particle breakage continues. Ortho Development Corp. is supporting further exploration of reinforce ment and cladding concepts for titanium orthopedic devices.
updated March 2012