Comminution processes are cited as having an efficiency of less than 1%. Even if the efficiency of these processes could be increased to 5% as is suggested to be possible, the conclusion would remain that comminution processes are very inefficient with some 95% of the input energy lost to the environment as heat. This is an interesting observation as one could suggest that, although comminution systems are very inefficient in producing new surface energy, they should be very efficient in producing heat. On the other hand, high efficiency in generating heat might be off-set by a limit on the energy that can be recovered.
In this paper, four issues will be addressed: heat generated in comminution, potential energy recovery, different means to increase energy recovery in comminution processes and avenues to possible implementation. It will close with a discussion of a number of issues surrounding energy recovery in comminution processes.