Our Research

Mineral Processing

Our aim is to develop the capability to understand the reactivity of mineral phases of various oxide ores during processing and the recovery of metals from leachates by adsorption and precipitation. We are currently working with pyrometallurgical, hydrometallurgical and novel biological leaching processes, with results, which have been promising. Incorporation of unique in-situ spectroscopic techniques such as neutron diffraction, X-ray diffraction and EXAF using synchrotron radiation to analyse these minerals during reaction along with laboratory and pilot scale tests will provide intrinsic information, which should lead to development of current and new processes. Our projects in this area include:

  • Biological Leaching of Minerals
  • Organism Adaptation to Abiotic Stress
  • Reductive Activation of Ores
  • Synchrotron-based X-ray diffraction techniques (SRXRPD) as in situ tools to monitor mineralogical transformations and metal speciation as they are occurring.
  • Adsorbent development for recovery of metals and environmental protection

Waste Management

The management of waste today is perhaps one of the greatest challenges that are being faced by mankind. In MMPRU we are addressing this issue by developing technologies that would enable the re-use of materials and energy from the wastes with zero waste. Our projects in this area include:

  • Extraction of Phytochemicals from Sugar Cane Mud
  • Development of Activated Carbons from Bagasse for Environmental Applications
  • Bioleaching of E-wastes
  • Pioneering the Biohydropyrolysis of Wastes

Waste and Water Infra-structure Rehabilitation and Protection

Our work involves fundamental research to identify and establish the factors influencing the durability of the various coatings that are currently applied in sour environments (e.g., sewers) and in reticulation and pressurised pipes. The scientific knowledge generated will result in recommendations on coating specification, the development of strategies to monitor the performance of coatings and designing protective systems. Our work aims to support the Australian water industries in achieving efficient and cost-effective sewers and reticulation pipe management. Our projects in this area include:

  • Study of microbiologically induced corrosion in sewers and treatment plants
  • Monitoring Strategies to Establish the Performance of Coating
  • Organism adaptation to aluminium metal species and its implication to corrosion of CAC
  • Controlling the Conversion of Calcium Aluminate Cement
  • Chemistry of Epoxy Mortar Corrosion and Its Impact on Acid Diffusion Through the Lining
  • Study of the Corrosion Behaviour of Calcium Aluminate Cement