cod. 1009700

Academic year 2023/24
3° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Mineralogia (GEO/06)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The educational objectives of this course align with a broader concept of sustainable development, considering the increasing impact that resource extraction has on the environment and health. Additionally, the course aims to convey the profound connection between the field of mineralogy and the industrial sector, by providing an understanding of the key industrial processes involving the use of both natural and synthetic minerals.


basics of inorganic chemistry

Course unit content

The INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS course will focus on mineral raw materials used in various industrial sectors. The course will delve into specific classes of materials obtained from the Earth's upper crust and used, after appropriate processing, to meet the enormous industrial demand of our society. In a broad sense, these include mineral resources for obtaining metals, industrial minerals and rocks, fossil fuels, and other potential sources of energy, as well as construction materials.

Full programme

Introduction to Mineral Systematics.

Introduction to the Mineralogy of Industrial Materials.
Characteristics of Industrial Minerals, Definition, Classification.
Distribution of Natural Deposits of Industrial Minerals. Extraction, Processing, and Trade.
Use of Anthropogenic Deposits as Industrial Minerals. Environmental Issues Related to Mining. Overview of Environmental Legislation on Mining.
Industrial Minerals: Brief Overview of Some Types of Materials Used.

Minerals Used in Construction and Building.
Classification, Extraction, Processing, and Environmental Issues. Sands, Gravels, and Various Types of Aggregates. Cements: Raw Materials, Mineralogical Composition of Raw Materials, Cement Production, Cement Minerals, Characterization of Finished Products. Potential Reuse of Construction Demolition Waste (CDW).

Asbestos-Containing Materials. Asbestos Definition. Asbestos-Related Issues. Legislation. Introduction to Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACM). Substitutes and Insulation Materials for Structures Containing Asbestos.

Minerals Important for the Extraction of Critical Raw Materials (CRM).
What are CRMs, Where They are Found in Nature. The Mining Industry and the Concept of Urban Mining. Overview of Lithium Extraction and Related Issues. In-Depth Exploration of Other CRMs, Such as Ti, Ni, Zn, etc. Definition and Treatment of Examples of Reusing By-Products as Second-Generation Materials (e.g., Waste Converted from Metal Processing, Power Plants, Wastewater Treatment, Electrical and Electronic Materials).

Clay Minerals: Properties and Characteristics.
The Main Sources for the Ceramic Industry: Ball Clays, China Clays, Kaolin.

The Industry and Trade of Precious Minerals and Gemstones.
What is a Gem, Classification, Definition, Processing, Cutting. Natural and Synthetic Gemstones.

Micro and Nanoporous Minerals: Zeolites.
What They Are, Applications, Characteristics. Natural and Synthetic Zeolites. Environmental Applications.

Glass: Mineralogical Composition of Raw Materials, Industrial Glass Production, Characterization of Finished Products.


Industrial Minerals and Rocks (7° ed.), 2006, Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration

Teaching methods

In-class lectures

Assessment methods and criteria

oral exams

Other information

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