Advanced characterization and integrated assessment of WP4

WP4 is an integrative WP, which interacts closely with WP1–3 and provides a truly interdisciplinary, systems approach. There are 2 ESRs in WP4, ESR14 and ESR15. Two main elements are targeted: advanced characterization and integrated assessment. ESR14 will perform advanced characterization of the industrial-process residues to find out which mineral phases the metals occur, how these phases are distributed throughout the matrix and the size of the mineral grains. ESR15 will develop an integrated system-analysis method assessing key economic, environmental, technical, market and policy conditions and measures for the realization of critical-metal recovery and valorization flow sheets.

Enough with introduction and let’s hear from the ESRs themselves.

14 Nikos Nikolopoulos web I am Nikos Nikolopoulos from Greece and I am ESR 14. I obtained my bachelor in Chemistry at the University of Patras. Furthermore, I have a master’s degree in “Catalysis, Environmental Protection and Clean Energy Production”. Lately, I joined SOCRATES and I am doing my PhD at Utrecht University. My PhD thesis focuses on the advanced characterization of metal-containing, low-grade metallurgical residues.
In this research project, advanced characterization will be performed on the complex residues, before and after the removal of metals by leaching. A detailed knowledge of the chemical and mineralogical composition of the industrial-process residues (Cu flotation tailings, Fe-rich hydrometallurgical sludges, fayalite slags and incineration ashes) is essential for the extraction of metals by innovative leaching methods and for the valorization of the residual matrices as cementitious binders, inorganic polymers or heterogeneous catalysts.
But the real question to a scientist is “What or who motivates and inspires you?”. I truly believe that the most motivating thing is that I am part of this huge effort for a better future. And as Socrates said: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new”.

If you are interested in my topic and you wish to learn more about it, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me at: n.nikolopoulos@uu.nl

Alejandro Abadías Llamas

Alejandro Abadías Llamas

I am Alejandro and I was born in a little but amazing village of the north of Spain, Sariñena. I grew up in this marvelous part of Spain, near to the Pyrenees (As you can see into the photo). I was living in Sariñena until I was 18. Then, I left to study in Zaragoza, which is 1 hour away from my village. Living close to my village allowed me to come back every weekend and enjoy it with my family and friends!
I was studying Mechanical Engineering for four years, focusing in thermal energy and fluids systems. As I liked the subjects about energy, I decided to study a Master’s in Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency at the University of Zaragoza. During my Master Degree studies I felt so interested in the resource efficiency issues, so I did my Master Degree Thesis about this topic.
As my interest in the resource efficiency was growing quickly, I decided to start researching and doing my PhD Thesis about Resource Efficiency in Industrial Systems. Thus, I was doing my PhD Thesis at the University of Zaragoza for one year. However, my supervisor informed me that there were possibilities to join into a European Training Network(ETN) that totally fits with my topic. This ETN was SOCRATES and now I am the 15th Marie Curie fellow of this training network.
Since, February 2017 I am working at Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology and TU Bergakademie Freiberg. My role is to assess the sustainability of the processes that my colleagues are going to design. To meet this goal, I am going to model and simulate these processes and I am going to use “exergy” (Yes, Exergy. It is not a typo!) to assess the resources that will be consumed in these processes. Exergy is a property that measures not only the quantity but also the quality, energy, raw materials and water flows. The advantage is that it can be assessed with the same units, allowing the integration between them. Additionally, the cost of the processes in terms of natural resources will also be assessed. Hence, take care and make your processes as sustainable as you can, I will be watching you!!

If you are interested in my research topic, do not be hesitate and get in touch with me, I will be glad to discuss it. You can contact me at: a.abadias@hzdr.de

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