2023-2024 / GEOL0315-1

Solid Waste and by products processing


20h Th, 20h Labo., 7h Proj., 1,5d FW

Number of credits

 Master of Science (MSc) in Geological and Mining Engineering, professional focus in geometallurgy (EMERALD) (Erasmus mundus)5 crédits 
 Master in Chemical and Materials Science Engineering (Ir.), professional focus in Advanced Materials - Innovative Recycling (AMIR-EM)5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Geological and Mining Engineering5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Geological and Mining Engineering (joint-degree programme with the "Université polytechnique de Madrid")5 crédits 


Stoyan Gaydardzhiev

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course is centered around the questions how recycling could contribute in overcoming raw materials shortage and what is the economic importance and technological challenges in management and recycling of "secondary" resources. The implication of secondary resources management and their reuse and recycling to the circular economy is likewise presented. 

The main topics to be outlined during the course are:

Introduction to solid waste management, urban mining concept, product life cycles and circular economy of metals. Raw materials demand/supply trends. Emerging technologies and demand for critical raw materials. Current situation in the area of metals recycling. Recycling efficiency. Design for recycling and design for disassembly. Recycling activities as a complementary to primary mining in securing metals supply. 

Examples of specific fragmentation, components liberation and material separation units developed explicitely for the waste processing industry (shredders, automatic sorters, eddy-current and ballistic separators). 

Basic flow-sheets developed to (re)processing solid wastes will be given, focusing on the following case studies (non-exhaustive):

* Recycling of end-of-life batteries
* Recycling of end-of-life vehicles
* Recycling of plastics and composites
* Recycling e-scrap (WEEE) 
* Municipal soild waste - energy and material valorisation

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

By attending the course students will be able to:

- understand the role of supply of economically important raw materials for the driving emerging technologies

- be aware about resources scarcity and importance of the circular economy of metals

- understand the notion of "urban mining" and secondary resources

- get glance of the principles of solid waste management and the associated legislative basis

- get acquainted how unit operations known from the mineral processing technology are adapted in treatment solid wastes and by products

- identify the principal challenges in recycling of secondary resources (characterization, equipment selection and arrangement)

- understand the basis steps during elaboration of solid waste recycling/treatment technologies

This course contributes to the learning outcomes I.1, I.2, II.1, II.2, III.4, IV.2, V.1, V.2, VI.1, VI.2, VII.2, VII.3, VII.4, VII.5, VII.6 of the MSc in geological and mining engineering.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

It is advisable that the students possess basic knowledge in metals supply chain and solid-solid separation techniques

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

lab practicals, site visits, seminars guided by professionals from industry

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:


first quadrimester of the acadelic year; each monday a.m.

Recommended or required readings

Christensen T., (ed.), Solid waste technology and management, Blackwell publishing, 2011

Tchobanoglous G. et. al. Integrated solid waste management: Engineering principles and management issues, McGraw-Hill, 1993

Worrell, W., Vesilind P. A., Solid Waste Engineering, Second edition, SI edition, 2012

Williams Paul T., Waste treatment and disposal Wiley-Blackwell; 2005, 2nd Edition edition

Metal Recycling: Opportunities, Limits, Infrastructure ; UNEP Report, Lead Author : Markus REUTER,  2013  available on-line

Scientifc articles; Conference proceedings, e.g. proceedings of international symposiums on the topic: "Waste Processing and Recycling in mining and metallurgical industries" - available at prof's office

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

Written work / report

Additional information:

written exam - 70 %;  The rest 30 % will be derived based on the quality of the delivered laboratory reports (group work), quality of your individaul presentation and the level of personal participation during lab sessions

The students could be questioned either in English or in French.

Normal situation: The exam will be a written one involving short and long questions to be answered.

Work placement(s)

internship not included

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The course is delivered during the first quadrimester. It is included as obligatory course within the study program of the students enrolled in the EMERALD Erasmus-Mundus Master program. The attendance of laboratory classes and seminars is compulsory.


Stoyan Gaydardzhiev - Prof

Mohamed AATACH - Teaching Assistant


Association of one or more MOOCs

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