Microwave-assisted metallurgy

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© 2015 Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and ASM International. Microwave heating has been extensively explored in various fields of materials processing. This technology exhibits unique characteristics including volumetric and selective heating, which eventually lead to many exceptional advantages over conventional processing methods including both energy and cost savings, improved product quality, faster processing and greater ecofriendliness, making microwave heating appropriate for applications in metallurgy. This paper presents a critical review on the use of microwave energy in metallurgy, with emphasis on both fundamentals of microwave heating and recent experimental efforts on extractive metallurgy via pyrometallurgical and/or hydrometallurgical routes. Applications to metallurgical processes for extraction of various metals, including heavy metals (Fe, Ni, Co, Cu, Pb and Zn), light metals (Al and Mg), rare metals (Ti, Mo, W and Re) and precious metals (Au, Ag and Pt), are reviewed and discussed.

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International Materials Reviews