The use of decision and optimization methods in selection of hydrometallurgical unit process alternatives
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Aalto University
Lotta Rintala   

Aalto University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, PO Box 16200, FIN-00076 Aalto, Finland
Publication date: 2011-01-01
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2011;46(1):229–242
The hydrometallurgical process routes development has traditionally been made based on personnels’ experiences and preferences. This tacit knowledge has been very difficult to communicate to other people. For this reason an attempt has been made to develop a tool that could be used as a selection tool or a decision support method when making process route decisions. A description of the decision problem is the most important element in decision making. That is discussed via human decison making and decision support and optimization methods. In addition, a typical hydrometallurgical process chain and decisions made in different stages at the chain are discussed. The main focus in this study is to establish what kind of tool would help in the rough selection between the different unit processes. The optimization of the process chain would be the next stage of development work but that is not discussed here.