The Global Comminution Collaborative (GCC) led by The University of Queensland (UQ) welcomed its sixth member university in October 2013.
Technische Universität Braunschweig (TUBS), Germany, brings expertise in ultra-fine grinding and modelling, and fine particle strength, sizing and analysis to the GCC, which conducts comminution research on mine sites.
Comminution is a process in which solid materials are reduced in size through crushing and grinding to make the contained valuable materials accessible for further processing and extraction.
GCC founder Professor Malcolm Powell, who is based at the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre at UQ’s Sustainable Minerals Institute, said it was an important but energy intensive operation in mineral processing, consuming up to 40 per cent of a mine’s power supply and up to four per cent of the world’s electrical energy.
“Comminution is a discrete area of research but it has a strong impact; small site improvements can have considerable flow on effects in improving efficiencies and reducing costs,” said Professor Powell.
“Already our member universities bring expertise in many areas of comminution – the addition of TU Braunschweig ensures that we cover the full scope of comminution from coarse feed to finest final product.”
TUBS fine grinding leader Professor Arno Kwade said: “The Institute of Particle Technology of the TU Braunschweig has a leading reputation in fine grinding for various processing industries and we are looking forward to extending this into the minerals industry, providing innovation through collaboration. I am delighted to join the GCC.”
TUBS will join UQ, the University of Cape Town in South Africa, Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, Hacettepe University in Turkey, and the Laboratory of Mineral Technology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in further developing the academic centre of comminution excellence.
Core research projects that focus on issues common to the industry are researched collaboratively across the six GCC centres of excellence.
“In addition, each centre addresses specific industry problems. The advantage of working with the GCC is that, regardless of which member university industry approaches, we can put you in contact with the best researcher in the area you require,” Professor Powell said.