UBC Student Chapter Virtual Technical Talk

Joint Student Chapter (JSC) of the Department of Materials Engineering (MTRL), The University of British Columbia (UBC) Presents:
Virtual Technical Talk

Recovery of Acid and Base from Salt Waste

By Dr. Alexander Burns, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Wednesday, January 26th, 12:00-1:00 PM (PST)

All students, researchers, and industry professionals from all institutions and companies are welcome to join this free technical talk event.


Electrolytic salt splitting is a technology where acid and/or base is regenerated from a neutral salt solution using membrane electrolysis. Although its use in the chemical industry is well established, the mining industry has been slow to adopt the technology due to challenges associated with impure feed solutions, as well as economic factors such as relatively low disposal costs and reagent prices.  In recent years, however, advances in brine treatment, membrane technology, and cell design have made electrolytic salt splitting feasible for a wider range of feeds, while a shift in the regulatory environment in many jurisdictions has made bulk disposal of salt solutions more difficult.  This has resulted in a dramatic increase in interest from the mining industry in closed-loop acid-base recovery circuits. In this talk, a typical flow sheet for the recovery of acid and base from a neutral salt waste stream is presented, and the advantages and disadvantages are discussed.



Alex earned his Ph.D. in Materials Engineering (hydrometallurgy) at the University of British Columbia in 2015, where he studied a new process for the refining of uranium solutions by electrolytic reduction and precipitation. Following graduation, Alex worked as a Process Engineer on projects ranging in size from new technology startups to multi-billion dollar developments. He is currently the Director of Engineering at a startup company that is working to secure Canada’s supply of critical materials. Alex also holds bachelor’s degrees in Mining Engineering and Computer Science from Queen’s University and is the chair of the MetSoc Hydrometallurgy Section committee.


We are looking forward to seeing you at the event. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Email: Jsc.mtrl.ubc@gmail.com

Instagram: @jsc.ubc

Twitter: @JscMtrlUBC

Facebook: @JSC.MTRLGrads.UBC

YouTube: MTRL UBC Joint Student Chapter (JSC)

METSOC is a constituent society of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM).
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