Salvaging of metals from solid wastes. Dr. K. Ramachandran, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, and his research student Mr. R. Saravanakumar and his collaborator Dr. P.V. Ananthapadmanabhan were granted a for the ‘Method for recovery of metals from metal-bearing solid wastes’.
Industrial and domestic waste contains a significant amount of metals, which were difficult to separate. Several thousand tonnes of waste were generated every year and dumped without proper treatment. This causes serious health and environmental problems. Though the recovery of metals from the waste helped protect health and the environment, there was no effective solution for the recovery as the bio and hydro-metallurgical methods were either slow or produced secondary waste.
The team of Dr. K. Ramachandran came up with an aluminothermic process that was environmentally friendly. They mixed aluminium granules with metal-bearing waste which is heated to high temperatures to separate the metals. The recovery rate of metals was high and the quality of products improved. The University had filed for the patent on October 1, 2020, and obtained it on May 18, 2021.