Copper production in the next 50 years – The main trends, process & furnace developments, scrap as raw-materials, waste management, and copper recovery
Kemian tekniikan korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
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Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering
AbstractThe future of copper looks challenging in terms of demand due to the increase in the world's population, which is estimated to be 9 billion by 2050, and the global race towards green technologies. Higher demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and the world's fast-growing construction and electronics sectors make the supply-demand balance difficult. Copper demand is expected to double by 2035 and grow by 300 % by 2050. To keep up with the intense demand for copper, the discovery of new copper reserves is crucial. Current operating copper mines need to increase their production, but also future copper mine projects in the pipeline need to come on stream as soon as possible. Research and development to improve future production technologies can play a role by building larger smelters to process the ore coming from the mines. Copper recycling is very important in the current scenario and a major focus should be on increasing the recycling and recovery rate of scrap, especially WEEE. Copper slag is potential source to be treated and to recover valuable metals including copper. The fact is that at present we are not ready to meet the huge future demand for copper. Copper demand and supply gap will be higher in coming future and copper price will go up. New mining projects are key to fill supply and demand gap, while recovering copper from e-waste and copper slag can to some extent play its part to meet copper demand in future.
Thesis advisorJokilaakso, Ari
copper production, copper demand, copper recycling, copper slag, WEEE, waste management