Chair of Geology and Economic Geology

The Chair of Geology and Economic Geology under the direction of Univ.-Prof. Mag.rer.nat. Dr.mont. Frank Melcher is mainly concerned with the investigation of mineral deposits. Its focus is on deposits of rare and critical metals and mineral raw materials (graphite, magnesite) in the Eastern Alps. Due to the increasing environmental awareness, characterization and assessment of residual materials such as tunnel excavation material or metallurgical slags and dusts are gaining in importance. In addition to the activities in the field, the analysis of samples in the laboratory plays an important role. Here, an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, mass spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma and atomic absorption spectroscopy are all available to determine the complete composition profile, down the smallest trace elements. Optical analyses can be carried out using transmitted and reflected light microscopy or scanning electron microscopy, depending on the specific problem. In addition, particle size analysis, ion chromatography and whiteness determinations can be carried out. As a partner in the COMMBY project, the chair is mainly concerned with the chemical and mineralogical characterization of the residues. This data forms the basis for the selection and optimisation of possible processing methods and provides important information for the design of newly developed processes. Characterization of the residues is forms the basis for further project steps and is essential to document product improvements due to optimized processes.