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Hydrometallurgy 7.5 credits

Second cycle, P7005K
Course syllabus valid: Autumn 2022 Sp 1 - Present
The version indicates the term and period for which this course syllabus is valid. The most recent version of the course syllabus is shown first.

Education level
Second cycle
Grade scale
G U 3 4 5
Process Metallurgy
Subject group (SCB)
Chemical Engineering
Main field of study
Chemical Engineering

Entry requirements

90 credits in Chemical Engineering, including the course K0011K Inorganic Chemistry.

More information about English language requirements


The selection is based on 20-285 credits

Course Aim
After completing the course the student shall be able to;
1. understand and be able to use hydrometallurgical phase diagrams.
2. describe how leaching mechanisms and how kinetics are influenced by factors as temperature, particle size, stirring, etc.
3. describe the hydrometallurgical unit operations and methodology and equipment used for treatment of different raw materials.
4. account for the most common hydrometallurgical processes and the chemical principles for these.
5. conduct, evaluate and report experimental hydrometallurgical work.
6. identify, formulate and treat complex engineering questions.  

- Introduction: Comparison of pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical process technology. Overview of hydrometallurgical unit operations and processes.
- Hydrometallurgical phase diagrams: Solubility and Pourbaix diagrams.
- Leaching: Theory, kinetics, reagents, methods and materials.
- Separation and solution purification: Chemical precipitation, cementation, crystallisation, ion-exchange and solvent extraction.
- Metal recovery: Electrolytic processes (electrorefining, electrowinning, smelt electrolysis) and gas reduction.
- Hydrometallurgical processes: Examples of hydrometallurgical applications with environmental considerations.
- Laboratory exercises: Leaching and solvent extraction.
- PC exercise: Construction of Pourbaix diagrams with FactSage software  

Each course occasion´s language and form is stated and appear on the course page on Luleå University of Technology's website.
The course consists of lectures, laboratory exercises, four individual assignments and a study visit
The lectures and assignments give the students possibilities to understand chemistry and technology of the hydrometallurgical unit operations and understand the implications of different process options on economy and environment.
Laboratory exercises are performed in a group of normally two students. The students are trained in planning, cooperation, evaluation and writing reports. Study visit gives the students insight and feeling for full-scale processes. 

If there is a decision on special educational support, in accordance with the Guideline Student's rights and obligations at Luleå University of Technology, an adapted or alternative form of examination can be provided.
Intended learning outcome is assessed through written exam, written laboratory reports and written assignments.
A written exam with grades U, 3, 4 and 5 assess the theoretical understanding for learning outcomes 1-4. 
The laboratory exercise with grades U and G assess the learning outcomes 2, 4 and 5.
Written assignments with grades U and G assess the learning outcomes 1-4 and 6.

Laboratory exercises, assignments and the study visit are compulsory.  

Transition terms

Lena Sundqvist-Öqvist

Literature. Valid from Autumn 2007 Sp 1
Compendium: Hydrometallurgy, available at division of Process Metallurgy.

Course offered by
Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering

CodeDescriptionGrade scaleCrStatusFrom periodTitle
0002Laboratory workU G#1.50MandatoryA07
0003Written examG U 3 4 54.00MandatoryA22
0004Four assignments, hand-inU G#2.00MandatoryA22

Study guidance
Study guidance for the course is to be found in our learning platform Canvas before the course starts. Students applying for single subject courses get more information in the Welcome letter. You will find the learning platform via My LTU.

Syllabus established
Course plan approved by the Department of Chemical Engineering and Geosciences 2007-02-28.

Last revised
by Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies Eva Gunneriusson, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering 11 Feb 2022