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Interview with Leandro Gustavao Mendes de Jesus

This year, Leandro Gustavo Mendes de Jesus will be finishing the last year of his PhD program here at SFI Metal Production. He arrived in the middle of March and will be staying until late December, and his work is centred around waste products from production of manganese in Brazil. His supervisor is Prof. Merete Tangstad. We sat down with Leandro to talk about his work and stay in Norway.

Interview with Leandro Gustavao Mendes de Jesus

This year, Leandro Gustavo Mendes de Jesus will be finishing the last year of his PhD program here at SFI Metal Production. He arrived in the middle of March and will be staying until late December, and his work is centred around waste products from production of manganese in Brazil. His supervisor is Prof. Merete Tangstad. We sat down with Leandro to talk about his work and stay in Norway.

How is your work coming along?

At the moment I am working on methods for agglomerating the fine granulate into briquettes that can be used in the manganese ferroalloy production. The production of raw materials which later become HCFeMn, produce a huge amount of fines that are deposited into tailing dams. The grain with fine sizes harms the SAF operation and should thus be avoided. The fines contain a mixture of manganese-, iron- and silicon-oxides, as well as other trace elements.

So, the motivation for your project is increased production then?

The motivation for the project is actually an environmental one. Like Brazilian producers of alumina, the manganese producers place waste products in tailing dams that have been proven to be a potential hazard. The accident in Mariana and recently Alunorte, has made the world more aware of the risk and potential consequences of such spills. This has also urged the Brazilian government to act, to avoid future environmental disasters. At the same time, manganese is an important export for Brazil, so there are good reasons for bringing this waste product back into the production loop.

It is vital that whatever solution I come up with is low cost, which usually means few steps. The solution must be economically viable for the industry to adopt. For that reason, I am primarily researching briquetting. Other forms of agglomeration, like sintering and pelleting require heating, which increases the cost of the process significantly. Government incentives might also help, but at the moment Brazil has little or none such systems for grants.

Well, it seems you have your hands full with your research the next year. Changing the subject; You have been in Norway for almost two months now, how do you like it?

Before I came here I was a bit scared of the cold. It is very different from Brazil, where we usually have temperatures between 25 and 35 degrees C. Norway in March was very different, with temperatures around -10 degrees. The snow was also somewhat of a challenge, the ground was very slippery for a long time. It is gone now, but I am still baffled by some Norwegians approach to the cold weather. Someone I know went camping when the temperature was bordering on 0 degrees!

So, have you been engaging in some activities on your free time so far?

In Brazil almost everyone play football, me included. Since it has been quite cold here so far, I have been playing some indoors football with a group, which has been a new and fun experience. I am hoping to get to play outdoors throughout the summer.

That sounds great. We hope you enjoy your time here in Norway and wish for a fruitful cooperation through the year.

Do you want to work with Innovation at SFI Metal Production?

NTNU has just adopted a new strategy for innovation and is currently appointing 15 innovation managers to help transform more research into practice. The positions form part of the NTNU Strategic Programme for Knowledge-Based Innovation: https://www.ntnu.edu/innovation-resources/knowledge-based-innovation

Do you want to work with Innovation at SFI Metal Production?

NTNU has just adopted a new strategy for innovation and is currently appointing 15 innovation managers to help transform more research into practice. The positions form part of the NTNU Strategic Programme for Knowledge-Based Innovation: https://www.ntnu.edu/innovation-resources/knowledge-based-innovation

Announcement for the Innovation manager at SFI Metal production is found here:

Innovation manager – Metal Production and Material Technology

https://www.jobbnorge.no/ledige-stillinger/stilling/151129/innovasjonsleder-innen-metallproduksjon-og-materialteknologi

Program for the SFI Metal Production Spring Meeting 2018.

April 18th and 19th, the SFI Metal Production Spring Meeting will take place in Trondheim. See the program for more information.

Program for the SFI Metal Production Spring Meeting 2018.

April 18th and 19th, the SFI Metal Production Spring Meeting will take place in Trondheim. See the program for more information.

   

 

Program for Dross Seminar

The program for the 2018 Dross Seminar is now official. Read it here.

Program for Dross Seminar

The program for the 2018 Dross Seminar is now official. Read it here.

   

  

Business visit to TiZir Titanium & Iron AS

We are two bachelor students from NTNU. We are currently writing our bachelor thesis for SFI Metal Production. As a part of the work we went on a visit to TiZir Titanium & Iron AS (TTI), which is the company we are writing our thesis for.

Business visit to TiZir Titanium & Iron AS

We are two bachelor students from NTNU. We are currently writing our bachelor thesis for SFI Metal Production. As a part of the work we went on a visit to TiZir Titanium & Iron AS (TTI), which is the company we are writing our thesis for.

After the start-up meeting with our supervisor Kristian Etienne Einarsrud, we became very motivated. The task seemed exciting and demanding. partly because it had lots of time consuming experimental work, but also because there was a great lack of information about freeze lining in ilmenite melting furnaces. We received samples from the excavation of an ilmenite smelting furnace. It was however difficult to imagine how these were added the furnace, so we had a Skype meeting with Stian Seim and Haavard from TiZir to discuss the issue. In the meeting, it became apparent that we should visit the plant in Tyssedal to get to know the company, as well as to get a better insight into the task.

Monday, 26.02.18 at 05.00, we travelled from Trondheim to Bergen. We had received the plan for the day from TiZir. We should start with lunch, then presentation of the thesis, and finish with a tour around on the plant.

When we arrived at TiZir, we were met by Haavard Elstad who gave us various protective equipment required for visitors. We went to the administration building, where we met Stephen Lobo. We enjoyed our lunch while we became better acquainted with each other. Haavard held a presentation about the company and our thesis; and discussed the samples we had received.

On the tour of the factory, we visited the control room of the melting furnace, the electrodes they used, and the finished silo product. Stephen is an expert on the reduction of ilmenite, so he showed us the process of how ilmenite went from sand to pellets. Unfortunately, we did not see the tapping of the oven because when we arrived they were already finished. 

The company visit gave us a better insight into the projects objectives, where the samples were added in the melting furnace, and we learned more about how the ilmenite melting process works. It was interesting to see how big the machines were and gain an insight into the engineers work.

Thank you for your hospitality. Thank you for the professional discussion. Thank you for an educational visit.

The 16th International Ferro-Alloys Congress (INFACON XVI) will be in Trondheim

At the 15th International Ferro-Alloys Congress (INFACON XV), in Cape Town (South Africa) on 25-28 February 2018, Benjamin Ravary (Eramet) Aud N. Wærnes (SINTEF) and Gabriella Tranell (NTNU) convinced the International Committee on Ferro-Alloys (ICFA) that Trondheim and Norway is the perfect place for the next INFACON congress. INFACON is carried out every third year and the next INFACON congress in Trondheim will be in May/June 2021. Last time INFACON was held in Norway was in 1995.

The 16th International Ferro-Alloys Congress (INFACON XVI) will be in Trondheim

At the 15th International Ferro-Alloys Congress (INFACON XV), in Cape Town (South Africa) on 25-28 February 2018, Benjamin Ravary (Eramet) Aud N. Wærnes (SINTEF) and Gabriella Tranell (NTNU) convinced the International Committee on Ferro-Alloys (ICFA) that Trondheim and Norway is the perfect place for the next INFACON congress. INFACON is carried out every third year and the next INFACON congress in Trondheim will be in May/June 2021. Last time INFACON was held in Norway was in 1995.

The intention of INFACON is to stimulate technical interchange on all aspects of ferro-alloy production. INFACON (International Ferro-Alloys Congress) was founded in South Africa in 1974 by the SAIMM (Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy), Mintek (then the National Institute for Metallurgy), and the Ferro Alloys Producers' Association (FAPA) when the first INFACON was held in Johannesburg.

Interview with the new postdoctoral researcher in the BEST project, Mertol Gökelma

Portrait of Mertol Gökelma

The BEST project is an innovation project with Hydro Aluminium as project owner. The project is funded by the research council of Norway and the industry partners and the research partners are SINTEF Industry and NTNU. We got a chance to sit down with Mertol Gökelma, who is the new postdoctoral researcher representing NTNU in the project. His main topic for the postdoc period is to carry on the research activities for the inclusion removal from Al-melts and co-supervision of relevant student theses with Prof. Gabriella Tranell

Interview with the new postdoctoral researcher in the BEST project, Mertol Gökelma

Portrait of Mertol Gökelma

The BEST project is an innovation project with Hydro Aluminium as project owner. The project is funded by the research council of Norway and the industry partners and the research partners are SINTEF Industry and NTNU. We got a chance to sit down with Mertol Gökelma, who is the new postdoctoral researcher representing NTNU in the project. His main topic for the postdoc period is to carry on the research activities for the inclusion removal from Al-melts and co-supervision of relevant student theses with Prof. Gabriella Tranell

So, how long have you been here in Trondheim?

Mertol: I came to Norway in December, before that I worked on the project in Germany for a couple of months, at RWH Aachen University.

What did you do before you started on this project?

I was at RWTH Aachen University for four years as a scientific researcher and PhD candidate, and I worked on projects, related to aluminium melt cleanliness, powder metallurgy and precious metals recycling.

Just judging by your first impression, what would you say separates Aachen University from NTNU?

In the German system, the Post-Doc is not really defined, because the academical structure is different. There is no a common step between doctorate and professor. As a Post-Doc in Norway however, you get to take on more responsibility than a PhD candidate, and even hold lectures. So, I am happy that I will do the Post-Doc in Norway.

Have you had any lectures yet?

No, but my supervisor, Gabriella Tranell will have a sabbatical period outside of Norway, so I will assist with her lectures while she is away. It will probably be the metal refining course, which is part of the regular master’s program. It will include a three days’ workshop with the industry, which we are looking forward to.

Sounds great. How do you find Trondheim?

The type of city is not very new to me, as it is very similar to Aachen in many ways. The population and area are very similar, and both cities have around 40-45 000 students. Also, both cities have no metro or trains, so you are dependent on buses to get around. Though to be fair, you can get by just fine with a bike or just walking. I actually enjoy this type of city, with no big buildings, no towers and such.

Have you had the time to enjoy some of Trondheim’s attractions or the nature?

I had two company visits in small cities in Norway, it was interesting to see how small they really are. I have not done anything specific in Trondheim though, as I never ski. I don't know how to, and I am afraid I would just slip and fall.

There's a first time for everything, is it not?

Well, I still didn't try it yet. Maybe in the future I will. Winter is a bit hard here, not because it's cold, but, walking on the ice is challenging for me.

Norwegians have a hard time with that too, you will probably witness a couple of spectacular falls before spring arrives. Anyways, we hope you feel at home here at NTNU, and are looking forward to working with you in the future.

Dust (not the Norwegian kind☺) Seminar

Presentation at the Dust seminar, photograph

A seminar focusing on all aspects of dust in industry was held in Trondheim 1-2 February.

Dust (not the Norwegian kind☺) Seminar

Presentation at the Dust seminar, photograph

A seminar focusing on all aspects of dust in industry was held in Trondheim 1-2 February.

The seminar was hosted by RD4 together with KPN DeMaskUs. Presentations at the seminar were held by both Miljødirektoratet, Industry and the Research organisations. The seminar was well attended with over 35 participants – predominantly from industry. In particular, it was nice to see plant staff that have not earlier been active in the SFI meetings, joining the seminar!

The participating members gathered in an auditorium, photograph

405 Smøreosttuber opp i flammer

Anne Kvithyld, Arne Nordmark og Ingrid Meling i smeltelaben. Fotografi

Metallet i smøreosttubene våre bør resirkuleres. Hvor viktig er det at tuben er helt tom? Og at vi tar av korken?

405 Smøreosttuber opp i flammer

Anne Kvithyld, Arne Nordmark og Ingrid Meling i smeltelaben. Fotografi

Metallet i smøreosttubene våre bør resirkuleres. Hvor viktig er det at tuben er helt tom? Og at vi tar av korken?

Steinar Brandslet i Gemini har publisert både film og artikkel i samarbeid med Anne Kvithyld, Arne Nordmark og student Ingrid Meling, HER

Student workshop on alumina dissolution

Collage of four pictures. Top left and bottom right: group photos of the students. Top right: Furnace. Bottom left: small pile of alumina powder. Photographs.

During the course of 2017, the number of students working on alumina dissolution have increased considerably, allowing for several interesting activities involving experiments, modelling and simulation. 

Student workshop on alumina dissolution

Collage of four pictures. Top left and bottom right: group photos of the students. Top right: Furnace. Bottom left: small pile of alumina powder. Photographs.

During the course of 2017, the number of students working on alumina dissolution have increased considerably, allowing for several interesting activities involving experiments, modelling and simulation. 

In order to ensure internal alignment and industrial relevance, a mini workshop was held with industry, research partners and students on January 11th, resulting in several fruitful discussions.

In their ending remarks, Alcoa reminded the participants that “The work you do and knowledge you gain will help the aluminium industry improve!” - further motivating the activities which lie ahead.