Separation of copper from aluminum in an eddy current separator product by dry density separation

Muhammad Ali

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


The global shift toward green technology increases the demand for metals, which causes pressure on primary resources. To fulfil the demand for metals and to decrease the exploitation of primary resources, efficient recycling of metals is essential, but the issue is, that e metals are lost during processing or downgrade due to impurities as the presence of lead in copper is difficult to eliminate and it has to be downgraded. This thesis deals with the analysis of fluidized bed separator performance, which is a newly developed technology for the separation of different metals in scrap based on their density. For characterizing head grades, separation success, and the efficiency of separation, hand sorting, XRF sorting, and physical separation at the analytical grade of feed and product were done in order to evaluate the analysis effort and the increase the accuracy of particle-based analytical methods. Within the experimental work, samples were taken from the fluidized bed separator, which separates the conductant product of an eddy current process into a heavier and a lighter fraction, based on its threshold density. The efficiency of the fluidized bed separator was elaborated by sink float analysis. The accuracy of hand sorting was analyzed for the copper and brass content in the heavier fraction using XRF analysis. Results indicate that fluidized bed separator was very efficient, which documents that the separator sufficiently enriches metals of a density higher than 4.5 g/cm³. Hand sorting based on visual inspection of the surface faces some limitations in separating the materials compared to XRF sorting. The work reflects the variance in materials recovery based on the employed analytical methods, highlights the strengths, and limitations of each analytical technique, and the amount of different constituents present in the feed samples.
Translated title of the contributionTrennung von Kupofer und Aluminium in einem Wirbelstromscheiderprodukt durch Wirbelstromsortierung
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Montanuniversität
  • Böhm, Andreas, Supervisor (internal)
Award date28 Jun 2024
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

no embargo


  • Fluidized bed separator
  • Hand sorting
  • X-ray fluorescence analysis
  • Density separation
  • copper recycling

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