Thermal processing of jarosite leach residue for a safe disposable slag and valuable metals recovery

Minna Rämä*, Samu Nurmi, Ari Jokilaakso, Lassi Klemettinen, Pekka Taskinen, Justin Salminen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
206 Downloads (Pure)


In electrolytic production of zinc, the iron levels in the solutions are controlled by precipitation of jarosite or goethite. These precipitates also co-precipitate unrecovered valuable metals (Zn, Pb, Cu, Ag) as well as elements of concern (As, Cd, Hg). After stabilization, the residues are traditionally landfilled. This work investigates pyrometallurgical treatment of jarosite residue to convert the material into reusable clean slag and to recover the valuable metals within the residue. The pyrometallurgical treatment is divided into two functional steps. First, the material is melted in an oxidizing atmosphere, after which the oxide melt is reduced to produce an inert, clean slag. Then, a liquid metal or speiss phase collects the valuable metals, such as silver. The aim was to examine the optimal process conditions for reaching the target values for remaining metals in the slag; Pb < 0.03 wt %, Zn < 1 wt %. As a conclusion, the limiting factor in sulfur, lead, and zinc removal is the contact between the oxidizing or reducing gas and the molten sample. The mass transfer and volatile metals removal were significantly improved with a gas lance installation. The improved gas-liquid interaction enabled the first steps of gas flow rate optimization and ensured the sufficiently low end-concentrations of the aforementioned elements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number744
Number of pages9
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Circular economy
  • Jarosite residue
  • Metal recovery
  • Pyrometallurgy
  • Slag valorization


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