Comminution and classification processes – current situation, trends and developments

From 9 to 12 September 2013, around 200 experts from industry, science and research met in Braunschweig/Ger-many, for the 13th European Symposium on Comminution and Classification (Fig. 2). This international conference with attendees from 26 countries (including from Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America) – excellently organized by the Working Party on Comminution and Classification in the European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE) – impressed with high-calibre plenary and programme lectures as well as poster presentations on the subjects of

• Processing primary and secondary resources, especially minerals and ores

• Comminution, dispersion and classification of fines, especially in the pharmaceuticals, chemicals and electronics industries

• New and non-classical applications as well as new developments of comminution installations and additional equipment for mills

• Fundamental principles, modelling and simulation of particle comminution as well as of grinding and classification processes.

All papers and presentations focussed on strategies for optimizing measurement techniques, grinding and sorting processes, and equipment to lower energy, maintenance and wear costs, enhanced product quality with increasing production rates, the optimization of mechanistic modelling and simulation – always with the requirement of achieving more efficient performance against the background of the growing shortage of primary and secondary resources.

A compilation of all papers and the poster presentations – arranged according to the sessions of the symposium and the different topics – is available in the conference proceedings (ISBN 978-3-86844-551-0).

Towards the end of the symposium, the awards were presented for the best poster presentations by Dr. Aubrey Mainza, University of Cape Town, Department of Chemical Engineering, who, together with Katie Barns, Xstrata Technology, and Prof. Dr. Jouko Niinimäki, University of Oulu, Fibre and Particle Engineering, had taken on the task of selecting the best submissions. According to Dr. Mainza, it had been a very difficult choice on account of the high quality of the posters on show, but in the end the decision fell in favour of Dipl.-Chem. Katharina Jacob, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Institute for Technical and Environmental Chemistry (ITUC), with her presentation on the “Evaluation of grinding auxiliaries for solvent-free Knoevenagel condensation in a planetary ball mill” (Fig. 3).

The 13th European Symposium on Comminution & Classification concluded with the announcement of the next conference, which, at the invitation of Prof. Dr. Magnus Evertsson, Chalmers University of Technology – a research group focused on the development of equipment and systems for production of crushed rock material products, will take place in Gothenburg/Sweden in September 2015 (Fig. 4). Besides the global player SKF (producer of, for example, ball and roller bearings), various companies that produce products and equipment for the mining sector are based in Gothenburg, e.g. LKAB, Boliden, Sandvik, SSAB and Atlas Copco. The area surrounding the congress centre with the technology parks and the university institutes based there is steeped in an atmosphere of science and research. With this, Sweden’s second biggest city provides a professional framework for a conference focussing on mineral processing and specifically on comminution and classification processes.

13th ESCC showed itself – as past events – as an excellent platform for the discussion of the latest findings in applied research worldwide in the field of comminution and classification technology. The transfer and networking of information, with ample opportunity to look over the garden fence at related applications and for lateral thinking, provided optimum conditions for promoting innovative ideas, developments and products. Accordingly not just straight after the different lectures (Fig. 5), but also during the breaks and the social events held in the evenings, there was lively discussion between the attendees, which will certainly spawn new ideas for future projects or the optimization of plants and equipment.

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