Meet the Partners: Łukasiewicz-IMN


10 August, 2023

What are your main tasks in the project?

The main task of Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Non-Ferrous Metals (Łukasiewicz-IMN) is to prepare the upscaling of the CONI process to valorise secondary resources from lead (Pb) hydrometallurgical processes. We are also working on the construction, start-up, and operation of the pilot plant for the CONI process.

Further, Łukasiewicz-IMN is responsible for the recovery of cobalt, nickel and copper from the iron -arsenic waste alloy generated in Pb pyrometallurgical production processes. Iron and arsenic will be removed from the solution by their precipitation in the stable form of scorodite (FeAsO4∙2H2O). Copper, cobalt and nickel will be precipitated in the form of concentrates and commercial products containing >30 % of copper and >20 % of cobalt and nickel, which can be used to produce battery cathodes. Łukasiewicz-IMN will validate the experiments in the lab-scale, adjusting the operating parameters of the process. In the next steps, we will oversee the construction and operation of the pilot plant in our facilities.


What are your next steps in the project?

We plan to do further leaching tests of the iron -arsenic alloy using solutions of sulfuric acid with the addition of oxidants (gaseous oxygen, hydrogen peroxide and nitric acid). We also want to conduct studies on the elimination of iron and arsenic from the solutions (obtained after leaching) by precipitation in the form of a stable scorodite (FeAsO4 ∙H2O). Additionally, we are planning recovery tests for copper with the use of hydrometallurgical techniques such as precipitation and/or solvent extraction.


Why do you think METALLICO is important for the general public?

The METALLICO project is very important for the European Union (EU) as it will allow the EU to become more independent from the unstable and external markets by developing and demonstrating innovative solutions for the production and recovery of critical and battery metals from primary and secondary sources. Further, this project will support the development of the EU economy by building new factories and increasing the employment of people from EU countries. METALLICO is also an opportunity for the development of young scientists and for gaining new cooperations with foreign partners.