There are three common categories of metal sensing processes, all of which effectively improve metal recovery rates. Continue reading to learn more about metal sensing processes, including where to get the highest profit for your scrap metal findings.
Metal sensing is used to identify and sort ferrous and non-ferrous metal among recycled scrap. Various process are used to perform this job, from crane-operated magnets and Eddy Current Separation, to highly-advanced sensors, infrared scans, and more. But when it comes to more challenging metals to sense and collect, such as gold, copper, palladium, platinum, and other valuable metals like lead and silver, more advanced and sophisticated technological methods are needed.
In large-scale metal recycling and reprocessing operations, the three primary process types for metal sensing precious and highly-valuable metals include hydrometallurgy, biotechnology, and pyrometallurgy. Here is a brief description of each metal sensing process:
Hydrometallurgy is mostly applied in the field of extractive metallurgy, which involves using aqueous (a solution in which the solvent is water) chemistry in order to recover metals from their ores, as well as, concentrates and residual materials. This process of metal sensing is further broken down into three categories, which include Leaching, Solution Concentration and Purification, and Metal or Metal Compound Recovery. In fact, a metal chemical processing technique that compliments hydrometallurgy is pyrometallurgy, which you will learn more about below.
Also in the field of extractive metallurgy, pyrometallurgy is a metal sensing process that uses high heat to extract and purify metals. Applying extreme temperatures to metallurgical ores and concentrates promotes physical and chemical changes, which allows us to recover the valuable metals. This process of metal sensing can be grouped in one or more of the following categories: calcining, roasting, smelting, and refining.
Often referred to as bio-mining”, this process of metal sensing uses prokaryotes or fungi to extract valuable metals from ores. Why does this organic approach work? Because prokaryotes and fungi secrete organic compounds that bond ions and molecules to metal ions. Also because microorganisms use metals in the cell.
These processes allow such companies to retrieve and reuse higher quantities of metal in the scrap recycling industry, thus supporting the preservation of our planet’s natural resources, and reducing the need to mine for new ores.
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