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Extractive Metallurgy of Activated Minerals
by Peter Balaz

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Hardcover - 290 pages (May 1, 2000)
Elsevier Science; ISBN: 0444502068
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Fathi Habashi, Laval University, Canada
Activation of minerals by attrition grinding has been known for over a hundred years but modern systematic work started in Germany and Central Europe with the experiments of Tamman, Peters, Hüttig, and others in the 1930's-1960's.  Research in this field became later known as mechanochemistry and was taken over in recent years by Pawlek, Baláz, and others.  The idea behind mechanical activation of minerals is to create appreciable lattice defects and dislocations in the solid in addition to increased surface area, hence rendering the solid more active, i.e., it reacts at a lower temperature and in less time than the unactivated mineral.  Naturally, this is an important advantage to the metallurgist.

The author has brilliantly exposed this field in a systematic manner, fully documenting his comprehensive studies with diagrams taken from the original literature.  After a short introduction, he discusses the topic in general terms (Chapter 1), then outlines the methods available for the identification of changes in mechanically activated solids (Chapter 2), the physico-chemical properties of mechanically activated minerals (Chapter 3), and polymorphic changes that may be induced by activation (Chapter 4).  He then goes on to discuss pyro and hydrometallurgical applications.  Under the title "Economic evaluation of mechanical activation", the author cites few papers which support the advantage of this technology.  Missing however, comments regarding any filtration problems that may be encountered in a hydrometallurgical process using this type of fine grinding.  The book is very well indexed.

The metallurgical community should be grateful for Dr. Baláz for his effort to condense a large number of papers in relatively few pages.  The author, who is with the Slovak Academy of Science is to be congratulated. 




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