Presented by CIM Ottawa Branch
Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum 


Dr. Davide Ciceri
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

Tuesday, October 18th 
3 - 4 p.m.  

Room 247
555 Booth Street 



This event is free an open to the public, however, participants must RSVP beforehand to Maziar [dot] Sauber [at] canada [dot] ca in order to enter the building.




Microfluidics is the science and the technology of systems that process or manipulate small (10-9 to 10-18 L) amounts of fluids, using channels with dimensions of tens to hundreds of micrometers. Some advantages intrinsically related to operations in micro-sized channels are (i) the laminar flow conditions which allow investigating mass transfer neglecting inertial forces (low Reynolds number), (ii) the high surface-tovolume ratio, (iii) the small amount of sample required and chemical waste produced, (iv) the ability to handle liquids difficult to handle with traditional dispersive technologies and (v) the integration of many stages of operations on compact platforms.

In this talk, I will explore the use of microfluidic devices to investigate interfacial chemistries (e.g., solvent extraction), discussing some broader implications for the mining industry. First, I will present the use of a Y-Y shaped microfluidic device to study the extraction of metal ions across water/oil interfaces. A particular emphasis will be given to kinetic determinations in both diffusion- and reaction- controlled systems relevant to the hydrometallurgical industry. Second, I will present a petrographic microfluidic device that permits observations of mineral surfaces while they are interacting with extractive fluids at the micrometer scale. A particular emphasis will be given to the unprecedented ability to combine into a single device both petrographic and wet-chemistry testing, allowing to probe mineral/fluid interactions at the mineral grain scale. I will conclude by exploring some recent microfluidic literature of interest for all those professionals working in the geological, mineral processing and oil&gas communities.