Nowadays as well as in the future, the highest potential for an increase in recycling rates lies in the effective treatment of residual materials, which often show very complex characteristics and therefore represent an important metallurgical challenge. An adequate recycling process is a combination of various metallurgical operations from pyro, hydro and electrometallurgy. Especially a detailed characterization of such residues is mandatory to reach the proposed aims such as the simultaneous recovery of various valuable metals as well as an increase in product quality and with this, high energy efficiency.
An extensive literature survey is essential before starting with the characterization. Moreover, due to the knowledge gained in the last years in the Department of Nonferrous Metallurgy at the University of Leoben, different methods for in-depth characterization of different residues have been developed (analysis using a high temperature heating microscope or detailed morphological investigation method).