Dr. Y. (Yongxiang) Yang

Dr. Y. (Yongxiang) Yang



Dr. Yang is an associate professor and group leader of “Metals Production, Refining and Recycling” (MPRR) at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). He is specialized in extractive metallurgy and metallurgical recycling, thermal waste processing, secondary resource utilization, as well as transport phenomena in metallurgical processes through computational fluid-dynamics (CFD) modelling and simulation.

He got BSc. and MSc. in extractive metallurgy at Northeastern University, China (1982, 1988), and obtained the degrees of Licentiate and Doctor of Technology in process metallurgy and materials processing at Helsinki University of Technology (HUT), Finland (1992, 1996). Dr Yang joined TU Delft in 1998, and worked as an assistant professor at the Department of Applied Earth Science (formerly Minining and Petroleum Engineering). He joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in 2005 with process metallurgy group. Before TU Delft, Dr. Yang has worked in Beijing General Engineering and Research Institute for Non-ferrous Metallurgical Industry (ENFI), Shenyang Research Institute for Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering, Northeastern University, Outokumpu Science and Technology (Finland), and Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University, Finland). He has about 35 years of experience in metallurgical engineering, research, and education in China, Finland and the Netherlands.

At TU Delft he is responsible for the education and lectures in the extractive metallurgy and metallurgical recycling, a unique program in the Netherlands since 2005. Dr. Yang has been teaching the bachelor course “Extractive Metallurgy” at the department of Applied Earth Science (Faculty CiTG) from 2005 to 2017, and Master courses “Recycling of Engineering Materials” and “Primary Metals Production” at Department MSE (Faculty 3mE) since 2006/2007. Previously, Dr. Yang has also been lecturing “Fluid flow and heat transfer in metallurgical processes” and “Metallurgical process simulation” at Faculty CiTG.

His recent activities are focused more on the fundamental studies in blast furnace and new ironmaking technologies, and technology innovations in recycling of critical metals from e-waste and other secondary resources. The following is a list of his research fields and expertise where over 30  research projects have been acquired, performed or supervised (PhD and postdoc researchers).

  • Ironmaking and steelmaking: blast furnace and smelting reduction (HIsarna)
  • Simulation of metallurgical furnaces and processes (CFD, DEM)
  • Waste combustion and processing of combustion ashesand residues
  • Recycling and recovery of metals from EoL products, metallurgical and industrial wastes
  • Recycling of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) from WEEE and mine tailings
  • Refining of energy materials (solar grade silicon and nuclear grade zirconium)

Dr. Yang has been participating in a number of EU FP7 and H2020 research consortia for REE recycling and critical metals recovery. Dr. Yang is actively involved in the EIT (KIC) Raw Materials program and in research project acquisition (e.g. ReclaMet). He is a scientific committee member of PROMETIA – Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy for Mining and Recycling Innovation Association since 2014. Dr. Yang has published more than 200 papers in refereed international journals, international conferences and co-authored book chapters. Dr. Yang is also an adjunct professor at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) for hydrometallurgy and metals recycling.


Recent research projects

  • BF-NutCoke: Shifting the limits for nut coke usage in the ironmaking blast furnaces (2015-2019), project leader, PhD promoter. 
  • Efficient and optimized sulphur removal in ironmaking and steelmaking (2015-2021), project leader, PhD promoter.
  • In-flight melting & reduction of iron ore particles for HIsarna smelting reduction process (2016 – 2019), project leader, supervisor postdoc researcher.
  • RestMetal: Hydrometallurgical recovery of strategic metals from EoL electronic wastes (2012 – 2015), project leader.
  • Anodic dissolution of rare earths in the permanent magnets (2013 – 2016), part of EU FP7 Marie-Curie ITN project EREAN, Project leader, PhD promoter.
  • Electrochemical reduction of REO and REO mixtures in molten salts (2013 – 2016), part of EU FP7 Marie-Curie ITN project EREAN, Project leader, PhD promoter.
  • Hydrometallurgical up-grading and pre-treatment of REE-bearing waste (iron ore mine tailings and NdFeB permanent magnet scrap) (2013-2016), part of EU FP7 project REEcover, project leader, PhD promoter.
  • Electrolytic reduction of REO in fluoride electrolytes - Electrochemical reactions mechanisms (2013 – 2016), part of EU FP7 project REEcover, project leader, PhD promoter.
  • MSP-REFRAM: Multi-Stakeholder Platform for a Secure Supply of Refractory Metals in Europe. EU Horizon 2020 funded project (2016-2017). Project leader and principal investigator of TU Delft partnership.
  • SCRREEN: Solution for Critical Raw Materials – a European Expert Network. EU Horizon 2020 funded project (2017-2019). Project leader and principal investigator of TU Delft partnership.
  • ReclaMet: Reclaiming valuable metals from process residues with the HIsarna process (2018 -2021). Project leader of TU Delft. Upscaling project funded by EIT RawMaterials. Project leader, supervisor and PhD promoter of 1 PhD and 2 postdoc researchers. 

Selected recent publications

  1. Yongxiang Yang, Allan Walton, Richard Sheridan, Konrad Güth,Roland Gauß, Oliver Gutfleisch, Matthias Buchert, Britt-Marie Steenari, Tom Van Gerven, Peter Tom Jones,Koen Binnemans, REE Recovery from End-of-Life NdFeB Permanent Magnet Scrap: A Critical Review. J. Sustain. Metall. 3(2017) 122-149. DOI 10.1007/s40831-016-0090-4.
  2. Koen Binnemans, Peter Tom Jones, Bart Blanpain, Tom Van Gerven, Yongxiang Yang, Allan Walton, Matthias Buchert: Recycling of Rare Earths: a Critical Review. Journal of Cleaner Production. 51 (2013) 1-22.
  3. Z.H.I. Sun, Y. Xiao, J. Sietsma, H. Agterhuis, Y. Yang. A Cleaner Process for Selective Recovery of Valuable Metals from Electronic Waste of Complex Mixtures of End-of-Life Electronic Products. Environ. Sci. Technol. 49 (2015) 7981–798.
  4. Yingxia Qu, Yongxiang Yang, Zongshu Zou, Christiaan Zeilstra, Koen Meijer and Rob Boom. Melting and Reduction Behaviour of Individual Fine Hematite Ore Particles. ISIJ International. 55 (2015) 149–157.
  5.   A. T. Adema, Y. Yang and R. Boom, DEM - CFD simulation of the materials flow in an iron-making blast furnace. ISIJ International. 50 (2010) 954–961.
  6.   E. Scheepers, Y. Yang, A. T. Adema, R. Boom and M. A. Reuter, Process modelling and optimization of a submerged arc furnace for phosphorus production. Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B. 41B (2010) 990-1005.
  7.   Y. Yang, R. Boom, B. Irion, D.J. van Heerden, P. Kuiper and J.H.W. de Wit, Recycling of Composite Materials. Chemical Engineering and Processing, 51 (2012) 53– 68.
  8. Y. Yang, Y. Xiao, J.H.L. Voncken, N. Wilson, “Thermal treatment and vitrification of boiler ash from a municipal solid waste incinerator”. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 154 (2008) 871–879.
  9.   Yongxiang Yang, Kalevi Raipala and Lauri Holappa, Ironmaking, in Treatise on Process Metallurgy, Volume 3: Industrial Processes. Ed. S Seetharaman. Elsevier, 2014. 2-88.
  10. M.A. Reuter, U.M.J. Boin, A, van Schaik, E. Verhoef, K. Heiskanen, Y. Yang and G. Georgalli, The Metrics of Materials and Metals Ecology - Harmonizing the Resource, Technology and Environmental Cycles. November 2005, Elsevier, ISBN: 0-444-51137-7. 720 p

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  • 2018-10-16

    Williams Award

    The Williams Award is awarded to a paper of particular merit concerned with the manufacture and use of iron and steel. Ironmaking & Steelmaking and Materials Science and Technology editors decide from all papers published in the previous two years, based on recommendations received from the journal editorial boards. Final nomination is approved by the IOM3 Iron and Steel Society and the Materials Science and Technology Division.
    Special and Publication Award Dinner

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