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:: Fangyuan Fellowship Drives Innovations in Copper Smelting Technology
A new international research collaboration will revitalise the world's nonferrous metals industry through the development of next generation copper smelting technology.
The partnership between The University of Queensland (UQ) and leading Chinese metals company, Shandong Fangyuan Nonferrous Metals Group (Fangyuan) aims to develop new copper smelting technologies with lower fuel consumption, lower CO2 emissions and higher copper recovery.
UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Max Lu, said the $2 million five-year agreement ($1.25 million provided by Fangyuan and $750,000 by UQ) for the Fangyuan Fellowship would enable the fundamental and applied research to underpin innovative technology solutions in this field. “The University of Queensland is delighted to partner with Fangyuan an innovative Chinese company to contribute to the sustainable future of the global metals industry," Professor Lu said.
Fangyuan developed and industrialised the world's first commercial oxygen enriched bottom-blowing technology (referred to SKS Technology) in 2008 under the visionary leadership of Chairman and President, Mr Zhixiang Cui.
Mr Cui said the Chinese Government had recommended that SKS Technology be rolled out to replace old copper-making technologies in China. “Fangyuan's installation is the first modern copper smelting technology owned by the Chinese industry with strong backing from the Chinese Government," Mr Cui said. “Oxygen enriched bottom-blowing technology is one of most advanced copper smelting technologies, which has lower fuel consumption, lower CO2 emissions and higher copper recovery. We are looking forward to working with The University of Queensland to further improve this technology."
Senior research fellow at the Pyrometallurgy Research Centre in UQ's School of Chemical Engineering, Dr Baojun Zhao has been instrumental in establishing this strategic partnership and will coordinate the research activities in collaboration with engineers at Fangyuan.
SKS Technology background
‘Oxygen enriched bottom-blowing technology', also called SKS Technology, was initially proposed and pilot tested by Shuikoushan Mineral Bureau in 1991 for copper smelting. This technology was awarded the First Prize of Science and Technological Progress by the former China Nonferous Metals Corporation in 1993. In 2008 the world's first commercial oxygen enriched bottom-blowing furnace for the copper industry was installed at Shandong Fangyuan Nonferrous Metals Group.
This technology is one of the 17 key scientific and technological programs supported by the Chinese State Council as part of the scientific and technological supporting plan of the state.
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