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Revista Ingenierías Universidad de Medellín

Print version ISSN 1692-3324


AMAYA, Iván; BOTERO, William  and  CORREA, Rodrigo. Microwave assisted roasting for enhanced processing of Colombian gold mining samples. Rev. ing. univ. Medellín [online]. 2015, vol.14, n.26, pp.73-86. ISSN 1692-3324.

This research article, supported by Universidad Industrial de Santander (Vicerrectoría de Investigación y Extensión), shows the results achieved after using the electromagnetic cavity of a microwave oven and a temperature measurement system, to heat a mineral sample from the mining district of Vetas, in order to see if it was possible to induce a cheaper processing. A factorial design of experiment (DOE) was used to observe the effect of the microwave power, the exposure time and the sample's mass. It was found that an energy consumption reduction of 81.7%, and a time reduction of 75%, were possible to achieve while maintaining the recovery margin at 90% of the achieved with a traditional roasting, at lab level. Thus, it can be concluded that, at least for this ore, microwave roasting of the sample is viable at this scale. Moreover, if a better applicator were to be used, the benefits could be enhanced even more, so it is encouraged as a next step.

Keywords : roasting; microwaves; gold; mineral ore; dielectric heating.

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