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Flagship domains SOLVOMET ISC (interlinked)

Development of (near-circular, low-energy-input) hydrometallurgical processes (incl. leaching, SX)

This work involves the recovery of metals from (low-grade) ores, extractive waste (tailings), solid industrial process residues and urban waste (waste PCBs, spent automotive catalysts, end-of-life magnets…) through leaching (at lab scale in batch reactors (up to 5 L), mortar grinder or in columns; high-pressure leaching in autoclave reactor) and the subsequent removal of metals from liquid (aqueous or organic) process streams by (non-)aqueous SX, (non-) aqueous ion exchange (IX), cementation, precipitation and/or electrowinning. 


Validation of hydrometallurgical processes on mini-pilot scale

For an overview of our mini-pilot facilities, see here.


Thermodynamic modelling of hydrometallurgical processes


Hydrometallurgical applications of solvent extraction and ion exchange


Advanced leaching processes


Chemical and mineralogical characterisation of ores, concentrates and industrial process residues

SOLVOMET ISC owns or has direct access to state-of-the-art equipment for characterisation of solid samples (QXRD, WDXRF, TXRF, Raman, ICP-OES, ICP-MS, NMR, UV-VIS, SEM-EDS, EPMA-WDS…).

Forensic hydrometallurgy

“Forensic hydrometallurgy” comprises the advanced characterisation of all solids and liquids (along the hydrometallurgical flowsheet) and the adoption of a mass-balance approach. The protocol tells us what happens to the various metals along the flowsheet, allowing us to improve the targeted flowsheet in view of maximum metal recovery and refining efficiencies. 

For more information, we refer to our SOLVOMET ISC Corporate Presentation.


SOLVOMET ISC is KU Leuven’s Industrial Service Centre for Circular Hydrometallurgy. We support mining, metallurgical & recycling companies in the development of more sustainable (circular, low-energy input) hydrometallurgical processes, using state-of-the-art lab & mini-pilot scale experimental facilities.

Corporate Presentation

Visit the website of the SOLVOMET Group