UMD Professor Experiments With High Voltage Technology

Technology Could Revolutionize Material Separation

A professor at UMD is experimenting with new technology he says could revolutionize the way many industries sort materials.

It may sound a little boring and technical, but his results so far are truly shocking!

Dr. Christian Schardt uses a machine to send high voltage electric pulses into objects – mainly rocks.

The pulses break the materials into smaller and smaller bits, mechanically separating the components.

The professor says the technology has endless applications, and he’s happy to be experimenting with this equipment, which is currently on loan to the university.

“It holds both purely practical applications,” Dr. Schardt says, “but it will also provide us with a lot of insight more academic, more scientific topics in there.”

The professor says this technology has many applications, including in the mining industry.

It has the ability to separate rocks into both useful materials and waste materials.

“And the waste material that comes out of it would potentially have a very low metal or sulfide content, which would make it a lot more environmentally friendly when it gets disposed of,” Dr. Schardt said.

Dr. Schardt also says he and his students will continue to experiment with the machine to see what it can do.

He says the company that makes it has already made on capable of zapping ten tons of material per hour, and that scaling up its operation would be the way to make it more applicable to heavy industry. 

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