Program 1

Muhamad Firdaus


I am a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering with a specialization/concentration in critical metal recycling at the Swinburne University of Technology. My work focuses on the recovery of rare earth elements from permanent magnets. More specifically, to examines the behaviour of Nd based permanent magnet in high temperature recycling process. I graduated from the University of Melbourne with BA in Environmental studies, BE in Chemical Engineering and Master of Environmental Engineering. Before coming to Swinburne, I worked as research assistant on AMSRI dry mineral processing project at PFPC research centre

Research Topic
Neodymium metal is becoming increasingly important in the transition to a green economy, due to its essential role in permanent magnet applications from electric motors to generators. With the increasingly limited neodymium supply and complexity of processing neodymium from primary ores, recycling of neodymium based magnets has become a necessary option to manage demand. There are numbers of different methods or routes that can be used to recycle neodymium from secondary sources based on the form of the starting material (sludge or scraps), from hydrometallurgical (based on its primary production process), pyro-metallurgical, to direct refining of used magnets. Pyro-metallurgical routes provide solution in cases where water is considered as scarce resource and generation of waste is to be limited. Most of these recycling processes involve in heating the magnet at high temperature condition and the formation of intermediate compounds such as oxides, chlorides, metallic compound, as well as to its melting state. This research project aims to study the behaviour of these magnets in the high temperature recycling process.

Past Research & publication

  • Development of novel dry mineral separation process to upgrade coal and copper ores, AMSRI and NEDO – Japan.
    • George V. Franks, Muhamad Firdaus, and Jun Oshitani, (2013), “Copper Ore Density Separations By Float/Sink In A Dry Sand Fluidised Bed Dense Medium”, International Journal of Mineral Processing, 121, pp. 12-20
    • Muhamad Firdaus, John-Paul O’Shea, Jun Oshitani, and George V. Franks, (2012), “Beneficiation of Coarse Coal Ore in an Air Fluidised Bed Dry Dense Medium Separator”, International Journal of Coal Preparation and Utilization, Posted online August 3rd, 2012.
  • Pendant droplet tensiometry data modelling
    • Leong Yeow, Christopher J. Pepperell, Firdaus M, and Yee-Kwong Leong (2008), “New Development in Processing Pendant Droplet Tensiometry Data”, Langmuir, 24 (19).

Contact details
Muhamad Firdaus
Swinburne University of Technology

Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology
School of Engineering
Department of Mechanical and Product Design Engineering

Tel: +61 3 9214 5473

Office: AD 221b