KPM performed a wide range of projects related to base metal production and recycling. Projects in copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) address a variety of issues and use a range of technologies. Work is also regularly perform work on base metal by-products, including tellurium (Te), selenium (Se), cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), tin (Sn), bismuth (Bi), indium (in), etc. Sample projects at KPM involving base metals are:
The production of light metals was at the base of KPM business since inception. Over the years, we performed a large number of projects in aluminum (Al), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), lithium (Li) and titanium (Ti).
Some examples of projects are:
KPM has extensive experience in molten salt electrochemistry and molten salt processing, and maintains one of the most active molten salt laboratories for commercial metal production in the world. KPM molten salt electrochemistry work includes potentiostatic tests to observe the behaviour of anode and cathode materials and impurities in the salts. Potentiostatic tests can be used to improve existing electrolysis reactions, monitor corrosion reactions of metal samples, material characterization, and for the selection of appropriate molten salt electrolyte composition and additives to be used in industrial applications.
KPM has developed methods to quantify anode wear in electrolytic systems using surface profilometry to study electrodes after 24 hour electrolysis. As well, electrolysis tests can be done using visual cells to see through the molten salt and observe metal formation at the cathode and gas evolution at the anode. Material compatibility tests (refractory corrosion) in molten salts are done in custom apparatus. We use molten salt electrolysis and molten salt processing for projects like:
KPM is recognized world-wide for its performance of projects using chlorine (Cl2) and hydrogen chloride (HCl) for a range of applications and new processes development. We have in-line distribution of Cl2 and HCl throughout our laboratories, with associated gas detectors and laboratory procedures to ensure safe use and delivery. Chlorination (Cl2), hydrochlorination (HCl), and carbochlorination projects are performed routinely at KPM. Examples of projects include:
KPM has done extensive work in purification of metals and upgrading of ores. This work ranges over many types of feeds, using a variety of methods, including:
KPM has experience with commercial use of electrowinning and electrorefining for the production of a variety of metals and compounds, including copper, nickel, tellurium, and silver. Methods for the production of high purity base metals (> 5N nickel and > 6N copper) through careful control of secondary electrolytic refining were developed. Aqueous electrochemistry is also used for potentiometric evaluation of the corrosion of various metals, alloys, and compounds in a range of media.
KPM performs inorganic synthesis of a variety of products and compounds, both in experimental work and process flow sheet development. Often these involve small volumes which require special consideration to produce economically viable processes. Some examples of this type of work includes:
New process development is a significant component of work at KPM. We have worked on a wide range of novel projects on contractual basis, many of which are on-going and confidential. However, we also work on in-house projects and have developed a number of technologies that could be commercialized with the right industrial partner. Examples of novel process development work include: