Pilot biolixiviation installation to extract metals contained in sulphide ore by hydrometallurgy (BRGM pilot facility, Orléans, 2012). © BRGM - Yannick Ménard

The Plat’Inn platform: bridging the gap between the laboratory and industrial production

With Plat’Inn, its new technological development platform, the BRGM has strengthened its experimental capacities to help develop ecotechnologies and the circular economy. This new tool is designed to bridge the gap between research and applications, and is intended for the use of SME-SMIs in particular and for RDI programmes (Research, Development, Innovation) run by major clients in the sector.

Plat’Inn is designed to support the development of ecotechnologies for primary and secondary mineral resource processing and waste recycling. With capacities ranging from a few dozen kilograms to nearly 5 tonnes, Plat'Inn caters for the pilot stage through to the semi-industrial stage, the final step before industrialisation of the processes developed.

Plat'Inn, the outcome of the redeployment and reinforcement, over 1000 m2, of the BRGM's experimental facility, received 2M€ in investments, supported by the Centre-Val de Loire Region and Orléans Métropole, which enabled it to acquire latest-generation equipment for materials processing and recycling.

Selfrag magnetic field diffraction equipment, available on the BRGM's Plat'Inn platform for raw materials and the circular economy. © BRGM - Cyril Boucley

Selfrag electric-pulse fragmentation equipment, available on the BRGM's Plat'Inn platform for raw materials and the circular economy. © BRGM - Cyril Boucley

Thirty ongoing projects

Plat’Inn offers different multi-scale mineralurgy/metallurgy equipment allowing both dry and wet treatments (crushing/ grinding, shredding, sampling, physico-chemical screening, thermal treatments, hydrometallurgical processes).  The platform is also designed to strengthen  BRGM excellence in fields such as  biolixiviation (metals extraction by biological methods), electro-fragmentation and microwave technology (embrittlement and selective separation) and flotation (concentration). It also provides tools for process modelling and environmental assessments (LCA: life cycle analyses).

Some thirty projects are currently running in what is best described as an industrial-scale laboratory. They are the outcome of the BRGM's own research and experimentation programmes, its participation in French (ANR) and European H2020) collaborative RDI programmes and its numerous industrial partnerships. These projects focus more specifically on recycling and reusing mining and industrial waste, demolition waste and waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and other end-of-life products.

Three platforms to support innovation

Plat'Inn (circular economy) is one of several BRGM innovation platforms that apply geoscience research to strategic topics with high innovation potential. The other platforms include:

  • Prime (engineering, metrology, environmental management and remediation), integrated with the Pivots system that covers several platforms for innovation, recycling and technological optimisation for environmental applications.
  • Mimaroc (uses of the subsoil for the energy transition and climate change mitigation: energy storage, CO2 storage, geothermal energy).

More about these three innovation platforms

BRGM - 3 avenue Claude-Guillemin - BP 36009 45060 Orléans Cedex 2 - France Tel.: +33 (0)2 38 64 34 34