SINTEF Materials and Chemistry Process Industry
RESEARCH, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION
Norwegian Aluminium and ferroalloys industries are today the cleanest and most energy-efficient in the world, resulting from a long tradition for continuous innovation, where SINTEF has played an important role.Our research comprises the whole value-chain, from the extraction of minerals from the crust of the earth, through the production of metals and materials to the application and behavior of materials and end products. Recycling, urban mining and process waste valorization are important part of our activities.
Catalysis is involved in 85-90 % of all chemicals production. SINTEF has extensive experience within both homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis. Our projects are often directed towards understanding the operation of the catalyst and the interplay between the catalyst and its process. We work closely with partners in academia and Norwegian and international industry.
Production of Ferroalloys (i.e. Ferrosilicon/Silicon- and Ferromanganese) is a strong and significant land-based industry in Norway. The results from the cooperation between the industry and academia (SINTEF/NTNU) in Norway are basic knowledge regarding thermodynamics- and kinetic-data as well as reaction mechanisms within core processes and environmental issues.
At SINTEF we work with all types of polymers: thermoplastic polymers, thermosets, composites, elastomers and gels. Within these materials, we are involved in R&D along the complete value chain from raw materials to the properties of the final product.
We perform experimental and theoretical research and development along the value chain from mineral processing and materials characterisation to high temperature production, smelting and refining. We emphasize strong coupling between experimental activities and mathematical modelling and simulations.
Process modelling at SINTEF is based on advanced mathematical modeling and simulation tools combined with our well-equipped laboratories and experimental facilities. Our research stretches from understanding and modeling of multiphase systems, material mechanics, manufacturing processes, to process design and optimization and industrial implementation.
Process Metallurgical Laboratories
Modern production of high quality metallic materials requires advanced knowledge of pyro-metallurgical processes. SINTEF optimises metallurgical processes and raw materials, using a combination of laboratory scale and pilot scale experimental techniques, combined with thermochemical modelling.
Molten Salt and Electrolysis Lab
Molten salts includes fluorides, chlorides and carbonates melts for use in several electrochemical processes. Aluminium electrolysis is the predominant field of work but also electrowinning of Titanium, Iron, Magnesium, Silicon and Rare Earth Metals (REM) covers our research activities. Recently our research activity also cover recycling and electro refining of critical materials (REE elements mainly). Liquid metal battery for future storage of renewable energy is another field of research.
Refractories and Carbon Test Laboratories
High temperature materials are commonly defined based on their maximum application temperature with respect to the materials melting temperature, which strongly depends on the applied stress-level and the resistance to corrosive environments. Our expertise cover in special refractories, linings and carbon based materials for the primary aluminium cells, cast furnaces, anode baking furnaces, waste incinerators, silicon – and ferro-alloy reduction process.
Foundry and Forming laboratory
In our fully equipped foundry laboratory we work with casting and melt treatment of metals such as aluminium, iron, steel, titanium, magnesium and copper based alloys. We design and produce models for shaped castings, and have a moulding line and a core shooter to produce sand moulds. In addition, we have the possibility to do advanced modelling to optimize gating and feeding systems.
SCALE – Production of Scandium compounds and Scandium Aluminum alloys from European metallurgical by- products
Scandium (Sc) is one of the highest valued elements in the periodic table and an element which is usually grouped in REEs as it shares many characteristics with Yttrium. The SCALE project sets about to develop and secure a European Sc supply chain through the development of technological innovations, which will allow the extraction of Sc from European industrial residues. This will be achieved through the development of a number of innovative extraction, separation, refining and alloying technologies that will be validated in an appropriate laboratory and bench scale environment to prove their technical and economic feasibility.
MERIT – Combined experimental and modelling approaches towards improved environmental risk predictions of subsea mine tailing disposal
MERIT is an internally funded research project (SEP) that studies the fate and effects of subsea mine tailing disposal in Norwegian fjords
REE4EU – Integrated High Temperature Electrolysis and Ion Liquid Extraction for a strong and independent European Rare Earth Elements Supply Chain
The main goal of REE4EU is to realize a breakthrough in securing the availability of rare earth elements in Europe, providing for the first time a cost effective and efficient method of extraction and direct Rare Earth Alloys production route from abundantly available in-process and end-of-life rare earth-containing waste streams.
Ultrafine industrial dust to be studied
A Norwegian interdisciplinary project is aiming to ensure that workplace exposure to microscopic dust particles is kept to a minimum for smelter personnel.
Even greener solar power on the way
Europe wants to reduce its needs for raw materials and raise the level of recycling of resources in the solar power industry. If this project is successful, greenhouse gas emissions from solar panel manufacture will fall by 25 to 30 per cent.
On the quest for high pressure thermodynamic and transport data for arc modelling
International cooperation is a key factor in research progress within new fields. This blog post by colleague Magne Rudshaug at IFE illustrates this. It is also a glimpse into the complexity of modelling a weld arc.