Department of Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling (IME)
The Institute of Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling at RWTH Aachen University is Europe’s leading institute in the area of non-ferrous metallurgy. The best known non-ferrous metals are aluminum, copper, zinc and, to an increasing degree, also magnesium. Everybody uses these materials relatively regularly. Aluminum, for example, is used as a wrapping for chocolate and other food items, copper acts as a conductor in mobile phones and refrigerators, zinc protects against rust, and one finds magnesium in increasing amounts, in the construction of automobiles.
A major topic at Professor Friedrich’s institute is the development of recycling techniques for all those non-ferrous metals. The problem in this is that the products made of non-ferrous metals only very rarely return to the materials cycle in a pure form. They must therefore be separated by the most diverse methods, or mixed anew again so that new products can be made. One research field at the Institute of Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling, for example, is the recycling of old batteries.