Equilibria of gold and silver between molten copper and FeOx-SiO2-Al2O3 slag in WEEE smelting at 1300 °C

Katri Avarmaa, Hugh O’Brien, Pekka Taskinen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) offers a significant resource for precious metals such as gold and silver. To maximize precious metal recoveries and sustainable use their behavior during WEEE smelting with copper as the collector metal needs to be characterized. This study experimentally determines the distributions of gold and silver between metallic copper and FeOx-SiO2-Al2O3slag (LCu/s[Me] = [Me]Copper/[Me]Slag) in alumina-saturation over the oxygen potential range of 10-5–10-10atm at 1300 °C. The experiments were conducted employing equilibration / quenching followed by major element analysis by Electron Probe Micro-Analysis (EPMA) and trace element analysis by Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) techniques. Our results show silver distribution increased exponentially from 30 to 1000 as a function of decreasing oxygen partial pressure. Gold distribution was 105at pO2= 10-5atm and >106at pO2= 10-6–10-10atm.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Molten Slags, Fluxes, and Salts: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Molten Slags, Fluxes and Salts 2016
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783319486253, 978-1-119-33319-7
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Molten Slags, Fluxes and Salts - Seattle Grand Hyatt, Seattle, United States
Duration: 22 May 201625 May 2016
Conference number: 10


ConferenceInternational Conference on Molten Slags, Fluxes and Salts
Abbreviated titleMOLTEN
CountryUnited States


  • Copper smelting
  • Distribution
  • E-scrap
  • EPMA
  • Precious metal

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