DDipl.-Ing. Dr.mont. Christoph Wagner
The purpose of the research project “New processes for the production of metal chalcogenides” was to report on the theoretical basis of metal chalcogenides and different innovative processes used in their production. Metal chalcogenides are compounds consisting of a metal and an element which is a member of the chalcogen column (group 16) of the periodic table, except oxygen. Recently, attention has been drawn to these metal chalcogenides of the heavier elements (groups 14 and 15) motivated by the identification of their appealing properties and potential applications in the electronic, optical, semiconductor and solid lubricant industries. Three processes for the production of metal chalcogenides were reviewed for technical feasibility on the basis of tin sulfide. The examined processes are entitled “Mechanochemical route,” “Pyrometallurgical procedure and atomization” and “Precipitation/Crystallization from solutions.” The aim was the production of a crystalline end product that corresponds to customized demands. Regardless of the decision as to which process should ultimately be employed, it is important to provide a basis for industrial feasibility. Data from experimental investigations should complement the theoretical basics and eventually generate a process for the production of metal chalcogenides in lab scale. Another goal was the design of the elected process “Pyrometallurgical procedure and atomization” on a larger industrial scale. To simulate the process and generate key figures such as conversion rates or losses, calculations of mass and energy fluxes were carried out based on experimental data. Due to the different possibilities for further processing, the atomization of metal chalcogenides was also discussed. Another part, based on customer requirements, was the consideration of various refining technologies. Finally, a technical and economical evaluation of the processes was done that enables an assessment of the different technologies and points out unique characteristics in the production of metal chalcogenides.
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