Secondary Products

Program Overview

This Secondary Products Program is all about resource conservation and innovative utilization. It focuses on beneficial use of mineral-based secondary products generated by mining and other industrial activities, with an eye on their potential for value-added product development and innovative technology uses, their potential environmental impacts, and their resource conservation attributes. This is all within the context of sustainability and a circular economy.

Program Goals

  1. Maximize mineral resource utilization
  2. Identify, quantify and characterize mineral-based secondary products/materials
  3. Raise awareness about what’s out there and about how these materials could be beneficially used
  4. Find and match these mineral-based materials end-uses to other resources
  5. Pursue value-added product development and technology opportunities

Unique Strengths, Expertise and Capabilities

  • This unique program makes the most out of what is mined, processed, and generated by mining and other mineral-based industrial activities. 
  • The NRRI team has over 30 years of experience in this area and understands the resources involved and the interdisciplinary connections. 

Recent Projects, Partners

  1. Taconite as a Lower Cost Alternative High Friction Surface Treatment for Low Volume Roads in Minnesota. Partners: Local Road Research Board, MnDOT, St. Louis County, UMD, and UMTC
  2. Making Cement at Ambient Temperature Using 55% MSW Ash. Partners: Designs by Natural Processes, Inc., Sandia National Laboratory, DOE 
  3. Re-use of Regional Waste in Sustainably Designed Soils. Partners: MnDOT, UMD, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Duluth Seaway Port Authority
  4. Optimized Taconite-Based Pavement Repair Compound and Deployment System. Partners: MnDOT, UMD, City of Duluth, Duluth Airport Authority



Profile Sara Post
Senior Staff Scientist/Engineer
Head and shoulders photo of a man
Metallurgical Engineer
Profile Sunil Tripathy
Senior Research Scientist

Featured Research Projects

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NRRI paves the way for 'waste rock' to become high value aggregate resource for local roads.