Erzlabor: A spin-off for raw materials characterization

Profound understanding of raw materials’ characteristics is essential for process and resource efficiency in the mining as well as in the recycling sector. Materials characterization has become a powerful tool for the acquisition of quantitative data and is already applied along the entire raw materials value chain, from the exploration of new deposits to their rehabilitation. The newly established company ERZLABOR Advanced Solutions GmbH provides analytical services for the primary as well as secondary resource industry. The team of scientists and engineers from the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) – part of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) – make state-of-the-art infrastructure and analytical competence available for the industry.

ERZLABOR`s analytical services are applicable throughout the entire raw materials value chain, from exploration to recycling. The services offer numerous advantages, such as the reduction of materials losses and the prediction of environmental impacts. The costumers benefit from an increase in resource and energy efficiency, a reduction of production costs and of technical risk. As a spin-off of the HIF, the company complements to the activities of the institute commercializing under licence innovations in the field of raw materials characterization. ERZLABOR offers both Mineral Liberation Analysis (MLA) and Quantitative Evaluation of Minerals by Scanning Electron Microscopy (QEMSCAN), both techniques are based on image analysis. The managing directors Petya Atanasova and Dr Dirk Sandmann both have strong scientific background. The state-certified engineer Andreas Bartzsch is responsible for the sample preparation. The HZDR Innovation GmbH is a shareholder of the company. “There is a great demand for accurate materials characterization not only in Germany but also in Europe,” says Petya Atanasova. “With the greater emphasis on sustainability in the primary as well as in the secondary raw materials sector, high-quality analytics plays an increasingly important role.”

More efficient use of raw materials

The specialists at ERZLABOR are not only able to perform comprehensive and quantitative analyses of samples but they are also able to search and identify specific minerals, metals or other solid phases that are present only in trace amounts. The results help mining companies to evaluate a new site or to increase the recovery of ore minerals from an existing deposit. Similarly, recycling companies can benefit in their effort to recover raw materials from waste and residues. At present, the industry is still heavily reliant on conventional methods, which often provide less information than is needed to optimize resource and energy efficiency. ERZLABOR, on the other hand, can accurately determine a wide range of parameters for any solid material, such as the abundance of minerals and their distribution or the size and shape of particles, parameters that are important for beneficiation. Petya Atanasova: “The use of modern analytical tools pays dividends in terms of the improved risk management that comes from reducing technical uncertainty in projects.”

ERZLABOR currently has clients operating in mining and in construction of mineral processing plants. The company analyzes solid as well as granular materials such as rocks, ores, processing products, tailings, recycling and building materials as well as industrial products.

The young company is currently supported by technology start-up funding from the Saxony State Development Bank (SAB). Prior to this, the Helmholtz Association provided funding and one year incubation time for the development of the business model and the establishment of the company. Atanasova is optimistic about the future: “In five years’ time, we intend to operate our own infrastructure, to have a strong customer base and to belong to the market leaders in Europe.”

www.erzlabor.com

Related articles:

Call for papers – Processing and Recycling 2019, Freiberg

The Freiberg “Processing and Recycling” conference will again take place in the auditorium of the former FIA building at the current location of the Helmholtz Institute for Resource Technology (HIF...

more
Issue 04/2011

Strategic Institute for Resources

1st Freiberg Symposium on Resource Technology, Freiberg/Germany (14.-15.02.2011)

From 14.-15.02.2011, the first Freiberg Symposium on Resource Technology took place. Around 200 guests from other universities, research institutes and industry concerned with issues of the assured...

more
Issue 03/2018

The CDE family: a new world of resource

This year represents 25 years since CDE was born and throughout that time the company has built their business on helping customers to get the most out of the material being processed. This experience...

more
Issue 06/2013

Processing and Recycling – Call for Papers

The next conference “Aufbereitung und Recycling” (Processing and Recycling) will take place on 13 and 14 November 2013 in Freiberg/Saxony at the conference centre Alte Mensa. It will be organized by...

more
Issue 09/2018

Research

Dear Readers, The Helmholtz-Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) stands for the development of innovative technology with the aim of securing the supply of the German economy with...

more