Tomsk Polytechnic University has opened an Engineering Center to implement efficient and low-cost technologies for the processing of various ores. The Center’s laboratory and pilot area will provide a variety of services - the development of an integrated raw material processing technologies, laboratory and pilot testing of technologies of enrichment and processing of raw materials, technology audit, R&D, designing, engineering services, and so on.
Opening the center, TPU Rector Petr Chubik, stressed that Russia is one of the largest mining nations in the world.
“Unfortunately, today we do not have a sufficient number of unique fields with a very high content of useful components, we have to work with difficult deposits. In these circumstances, the Engineering Center of Inorganic Materials is of particular importance, - said Petr Chubik.
- It has three areas of work: the development of technology of complex processing and mineral raw materials enrichment, the processing of man-made, secondary raw materials - that which is left of the previous processing and contains useful components, and the third - getting rare precious materials.”
The TPU project to establish the Engineering Center won the open public tender of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation to provide state support for pilot projects the creation and develop these centers on the basis of higher educational institutions. In the first phase of the project a scientific team was formed, as well as more than 100 pieces of equipment for 21 million rubles were purchased and put into operation, including – an electrostatic and electromagnetic separator, flotation machines, a jig machine, a spiral classifier, an evaporation machine, a press filter and much more. Among the equipment there are produced at the Tomsk Polytechnic - a rotating drum oven and a freeze-dryers. The university provided office and production premises for the center with a total area of 400 sq.m. in two educational buildings - №10 and №11 buildings. They settled the Enrichment Laboratory and a Hydrometallurgical Laboratory to develop new technologies and the Pilot Production, to test laboratory obtained technology in real production.
“120 years ago, our University was opened as an institute of practical engineers, including in the field of mining, chemistry and chemical engineering.
The Engineering Center will be the link between primary mining technology and the advanced processing of mineral raw materials technology. It will transform scientific research into real industrial projects,”
said Alexander Dyachenko, TPU Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation.
With magnetic separator Vice Rector showed guests a small experiment on the separation of complex sand from the Tugansk deposit of rare earths in pure zirconium and ilmenite concentrates.
“Our center, in addition to development will be engaged in education as well. The students - chemists, engineers, miners, enrichers - live, not from textbooks, will get acquainted here with all the processes - from delivering ore, grinding it up and analysis to enrichment. This will allow them to become high-end professionals,” said Alexander Dyachenko.
The core of the center’s team composed of staff of the Department of Chemical Technology of Rare, Scattered and Radioactive Elements. This has already made possible to start effective work on such projects as the development of an import-substituting titanium dioxide pigment technology by ore concentrate processing, a production technology of ammonium paratungstate from ore concentrate, an utilization and enrichment technology of beryllium substandard raw materials and so on.