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Pyroprocessing (from Greek Πυρος = fire) is a process in which materials are subjected to high temperatures (typically over 800 °C) in order to bring about a chemical or physical change. Pyroprocessing includes such terms as ore-roasting, calcination and sintering. Equipment for pyroprocessing includes kilns, electric arc furnaces and reverberatory furnaces.

Cement manufacturing is a very common example of pyroprocessing. The raw material mix (raw meal) is fed to a kiln where pyroprocessing takes place. As with most industries, pyroprocessing is the most energy-intensive part of the industrial process.

Recycling used nuclear fuel through pyroprocessingEdit

Argonne National Laboratory pioneered the development of pyrochemical processing, or pyroprocessing, a high-temperature method of recycling reactor waste into fuel.[1] Today, Argonne National Laboratory researchers are developing and refining several pyroprocessing technologies for both light water and fast reactors, with most based on electrorefining rather than conventional wet-chemical/PUREX, to improve the technologies’ commercial viability by increasing their process efficiency and scalability.[2]

Animations of the processing technology are also available.[3][4]


  1. ^ "Pyroprocess Development". Argonne National Laboratory. 6 June 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Pyroprocessing Technologies: Recycling used nuclear fuel for a sustainable energy future" (PDF). Argonne National Laboratory. 2012. p. 7. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  3. ^ Argonne’s Nuclear Science and Technology Legacy,Multimedia Resources, pg 2 The New Explorers: Atoms for Peace (History of the Integral Fast Reactor) – 4 parts
  4. ^ "Historical video about the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) concept. Uploaded by – Nuclear Engineering at Argonne".