Gravity-Driven Multiple Effect Thermal System (G-METS) Distillation for Efficient Low-Cost Lead Refining

Efficient separation by G-METS distillation can potentially reduce the cost of lead refining to high purity.  This could in turn make lead devices, such as lead-acid batteries, more broadly available for important energy storage applications.

This project will measure and model lead alloy evaporation kinetics and the overall operation of a vapor compression distiller using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) with verification by a reduced-order model.  It will focus on validated modeling of Pb separation from Sn, Sb and either Se or Te, with the model also studying Ag, As, Ba, Bi, Ni, Se/Te and more-volatile Zn.  A techno-economic model including element-by-element mass balance and detailed energy balance will estimate operating and capital costs.