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UA Inventions Deliver Cleaner Copper, Energy Capture

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Native copper
Native copper (Image credit: Wikimedia)

UA Inventions Deliver Cleaner Copper, Energy Capture

Feb. 25, 2016
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A toxin-free method for extracting copper from raw ore and other procedures using molten salts represent an opportunity for a sizable impact in both mining and energy storage.

University of Arizona professors Dominic Gervasio and principal research specialist Hassan Elsentriecy from the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering have invented a toxin-free method using high-temperature molten salts to extract the metal from raw copper ore.

At the same time, in collaboration with Peiwen "Perry" Li from the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, this team was inventing new ways to use these same high-temperature molten salts to recover and store the vast amounts of heat energy created in metal refining and smelting production.