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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number744
Number of pages9
JournalMetals
Volume8
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Researchers

Research units

  • Boliden Kokkola Oy

Abstract

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.

    Research areas

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

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