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Research, Recycling, Hydrometallurgy – How All This Happens Every Day At Rubamin

Research, Recycling, Hydrometallurgy – How All This Happens Every Day At Rubamin


Written by: Dr. Ramachandra Reddy

For any industry, the only way to grow and improve is by ensuring they are constantly looking for new methods and processes; they have to delve deep into research and find methods to reduce the load on the environment, by recycling hazardous waste and create more sustainable methods of conducting day to day operations.

At Rubamin, research and recycling are constantly on going processes and the team is always striving towards finding new and better ways of functioning. More importantly, sustainability and remaining conscious towards the environment are also at the forefront of Rubamin’s core principles.

What is research?

An online search will tell you the basic definition of research – a systemic investigation of a process or method, the purpose of which could be information gathering, discovery, exploring or finding out new methods or testing a theory and understanding the results. There are various methods of doing research – strategy based, applied research and experimental development. The idea behind any research is to better a process or method, so that there are improved results.

How does research at Rubamin take place?

At Rubamin, research is at the heart of the functioning, because without new methods, without pathbreaking processes, there would be nothing new to offer. And for everyone at Rubamin, ensuring that the role towards the environment is also played, is just as important. This is why, all research is done keeping in mind how the load on landfills can be reduced, how materials can be reused or recycled for reuse and how the final products can be of the best quality. As a matter of fact, at Rubamin, more than normal research, it is recycling research that is given prominence, allowing us to become an advanced recycling company.

What is recycling research?

Most of us are aware of what recycling means in the most basic sense – converting something that is no longer of use and converting it into something useful. Similarly, recycling research is the process of converting material that could be labelled hazardous into something that can be used again, either in the same process or a different one. By recycling and reusing hazardous waste, the load on landfills is highly reduced. And then there is also the fact that most conventional methods of hazardous waste disposal could add to greenhouse gases. Another benefit of chemical recycling and reusing is the reduced need for fresh raw material, which many a times, might already be in short supply.

How Rubamin excels at recycling research?

At Rubamin, recycling is a key component, because the team firmly believes in reducing environmental impacts as much as possible. By investing in research in this particular domain, we have been able to reduce environmental impacts as well as achieve sustainable development and green growth. By recycling waste, valuable chemicals and metals can be recovered and these can be used either in the same process again or used in some other process. Over the years, by investing heavily in hydrometallurgical recycling research, we at Rubamin have been able to save resources and protect the environment at the same time. Today, we are one of the leaders in the field of recycling and reusing hazardous and toxic spent catalyst materials from the petrochemical industry or zinc based waste. All these ‘wastes’ actually contain valuable metals ions, which are in high demand in several industries. More importantly, the steam that is released during the hydrometallurgy process is sent down the line and used in the running of several other processes within the factory, showcasing recycling and reusing in yet another way!

Rubamin’s role in hydrometallurgy:

Before delving into Rubamin’s role in hydrometallurgy technology, it is important to get a basic understanding of what the terms means and what the process entails. This is a technique, within the larger field of extractive metallurgy, wherein the metals are obtained from their ores. Aqueous solutions are utilised to recover the metals either from their ores, concentrates or even recycled/residual materials. Hydrometallurgy is preferred over pyrometallurgy because it allows for the effective recovery of metals in pure form, from low grade ores or metal containing wastes in a cost effective manner. The process involves unit operations such as pre-treatment, leaching, solution purification, metal separation, evaporation, crystallization and drying.

Moving onto Rubamin’s work – our units are equipped with modern hydrometallurgy equipment and state of the art technology that allows us to effectively recycle low grade metals containing waste – our expertise lies in processing of hydrotreating spent molybdenum catalyst, which allows us to recover high pure molybdenum compounds. Much attention is paid to solvent extraction, because that is how concentrated metals are purified, and made viable for further processing.

The state of art  of hydrometallurgy technology for producing high pure and valuable metal compounds such as Zinc, Molybdenum, tungsten, vanadium, cobalt and nickel commercially was developed in-house at Rubamin. All these essential metal compounds are extracted via recycling processes of different types of metal wastes. Rubamin is lucky to have a team of dedicated, experienced and highly motivated team of chemists and engineers, who spend a lot of time and effort in research and development. Over the years, the company has been processing and manufacturing high pure metal compounds from recycling of metal wastes. This has allowed us to not only meet the challenge of covering areas of research on resource recycling, but has also allowed us to become a lot more efficient in the domain of waste management.

Rubamin continues to strive to not only become one of the top recycling companies in India, but also in the world by working towards truly sustainable growth. At the end of the day, the aim of Rubamin remains to reach a circular economy model, wherein everything from the raw material to the waste is handled in house – by reducing the need for virgin material, there will be lesser load on the environment. Similarly, rather than dumping toxic waste into landfills, recycling it and reusing it, yet again!