Technical and process innovation in resources recycling by applying intelligent comminution and physical separation

Shuji Owada*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Recently,novel comminution and physical separation technologies have been developed in the field of resources recycling and mineral processing. For example, specific comminution technologies for promoting surface grinding, selective breakage at phase boundary by applying mechanical and electrical energy, and various sensor based sorting technologies such as XRT (X-ray transmission), XRF (X-ray fluorescence), LIBS (laser induced breakdown spectroscopy), and so on. This paper shows several examples combined by such technologies, in which 1) recovery of minor rare metals from WEEEs by combining specific crushing technology, involving electric pulse disintegration, and device separation, 2) recovery of platinum group metals from spent automobile catalyst by heating & quenching treatment as a pretreatment of selective surface grinding with attritor, 3) mutual separation of aluminum alloys by combining XRT,XRF and LIBS sorting. We will be able to establish an energy saving and economical metal recycling system near in the future by utilizing these technologies. For example, if we replace these novel recycling process from the conventional one in copper producing process, huge amount of energy could be saved, because physical separation requires much less energy and cost compared with chemical separation processes. I believe that these intelligent comminution and physical separation technologies could be applied to many processes of recycling and establish a sound material circulation society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-153
Number of pages6
JournalWorld of Metallurgy - ERZMETALL
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Comminution
  • Electrical disintegration
  • Physical separation
  • Sensor based sorting
  • WEEE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Technical and process innovation in resources recycling by applying intelligent comminution and physical separation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this