1996 Review of Extraction & Processing
A Sampling of Highlights from the
Mark E. Schlesinger
EPD Congress 1996
Edited by Garry W. Warren of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, EPD
Congress 1996 collects papers presented during several of the symposia
sponsored in large part by the TMS Extraction & Processing Division (EPD)
during February at the 1996 TMS Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California. Each
year, the EPD volume features an array of single- and multi-session symposia on
topics related to the processing of metals from a variety of perspectives,
including the processing of ores and concentrates, primary production, and the
recovery from scrap and by-product materials. The 1996 EPD Congress proceedings
volume contains 78 papers from nine symposiaGeneral Pyrometallurgy;
Hydrometallurgy; Recent Developments; Process Fundamentals; Process Mineralogy;
General Recycling; Treatment of Bulk Concentrates and Residues in Lead-Zinc-Tin
Production; Materials Processing Fundamentals; Concurrent Engineering; and the
International Symposium on the Technical, Economic, Commercial, and
Environmental Consequences of Sulfur Recovery in Copper Production Systems.
As has become an annual tradition for JOM, the following is designed
to graphically provide a sampling of the types of technologies that were
during the congress. All of the papers highlighted here (titles appear in
parentheses) appear in the EPD Congress 1996.
The converting of copper mattes requires the use of silica flux to generate the
ferrous silicate slag in which the iron in the matte is removed. Poor fluxing
procedure can result in the generation of solid magnetite during converting
operations; the increasing popularity of high-matte grades has made avoiding this
problem more challenging than before. Jian, An, and Hendrix of the University of
Nevada at Reno ("Melting Behavior of Silica Flux in the Copper Converter")
examined the rate at which silica particles melt in contact with molten matte.
Lower particle size was the most important factor in determining melting rates;
increased matte grade also had a significant impact. However, blast flow rate and
oxygen content in the blast made little difference.
Most copper and nickel smelters are heavy users of mag-chrome refractories of
varying types. Fukuyama, Donald, and Toguri of the University of Toronto
("Wetting Behavior and Interfacial Reaction Between Fayalite Slag and MgO")
presented two papers focusing on possible chrome-free alternatives. The diagram
illustrates the compositions of various refractories in the
system tested in contact with fayalite slag to determine how refractory
composition affected the wetting angle and interfacial reaction with the
fayalite slag. MgO showed low wettability and good chemical resistance to the
slag; the formation of an immediate magnesiowüstite layer at the
refractory surface helped retard reaction rates, thus reducing corrosion.
Other Presentations from the General Pyrometallurgy
As the value of the yen increases, the need to reduce labor costs in
Japanese manufacturing facilities is increasingly important. Oda, Kusano, and
Noda of Hibi Kyoudou Smelting ("Recent Operation in Tankhouse of Tamano
Smelter") discussed the modernization of the tankhouse at their company's
copper production facility. One of the labor-saving devices adopted during the
project was the automated stripping process for starter sheets shown here. This
allowed the number of operators needed to be reduced from three to one. "Fuzzy
guesswork" control is used to help control the swinging of mother blanks as
they are transferred between locations in the process.
- "Manganese Behavior at Minimal Slag Operation in a Combined Blowing
Converter" by I. Sumi, T. Isawa, and T. Takaoka
- "Flow and Settling Phenomena in Matte Smelting Electric Furnaces" by A.A.
and R.H. Eric
- "Current Operations in SMM's Slime Treatment" by C. Segawa and T.
- "Oxidation of Synthetic Nickel Mattes Under Simulated Flash Smelting
Conditions" by S. Jyrkonen, A. Jokilaakso, M. Nopanen, E. Peuraniemi, and S.
- "Oxidation of FeCl3 Using Radicals Produced in a Non-Equilibrium
by D. Lynch and Q. Yu
- "V-Al Alloys by Aluminothermic Reduction of V2O5" by
C.A. Nunes and H.R.Z. Sandim
- "Minimization of Dust Generation in Outokumpu Flash Smelting" by D.M. Jones
- "The Effect of High Gas Flowrates on the Performance of a Counter-Current
Reaction Launder (CCRL) Process for Metal Refining" by K.N. Swamy, D.G.C.
Robertson, and K.D. Peaslee
- "Interfacial Phenomena Between Alumina and Fayalite Slag" by J.R. Donald, H.
Fukuyama, and J.M. Toguri
The recovery of metallic impurities from waste solutions is an
increasingly common practice, but the recovery of acid content from these
streams is a new development. R.S. Dennis of Tetra Technologies ("Acid Recovery
from Spent Acids and Electrolytes via Continuous Ion Exchange") discussed new
technology for acid recovery from waste streams using strong-base anion
exchange resins. The figure illustrates the recovery of ferrous sulfate and
sulfuric acid from spent pickle liquor generated by steel plants; the new
technology recovers more than 93 percent of the sulfuric acid from the spent
liquor at close to its original strength. The process has been applied to a
variety of other waste streams as well.
Other Presentations from the Hydrometallurgy: Recent Developments
The zirconia content in zircon (ZrSiO4) is increasingly valuable for
several high-technology applications. However, separating the zirconia from the silica
in zircon remains a challenge. Manrique, Gomez, and Taylor ("Thermal
Decomposition of Zircon in a Non-Transferred Arc Thermal Plasma Flow Reactor")
discussed the results of a joint project between the Venezuelan Simon Bolivar
University and the University of Idaho investigating the fundamentals behind
the plasma-based melting and dissociation of zircon. The high temperatures
generated by the plasma unit progressively decompose zircon particles as shown;
when the vapors reoxidize as they cool elsewhere in the reactor, a
submicrometer-size mixture of zirconia, silica, and zircon particles results.
The higher vapor pressures of SiO help encourage the separation of the silica
from the zirconia, providing the basis for a potential commercial process.
- "Neural Net Modelling of a Zinc Electrowinning Plant" by D.H. Rubisov, V.G.
Papangelakis, G. Houlachi, and C. Bowen
- "Improving the Performance of Anodes for Zinc Electrowinning" by J.M.S.
Rodrigues and E.H.O. Meyer
- "Metal Recovery From a Complex Sulphide Concentrate Using a Ferric Chloride
Leach Process" by C.J. Ferron, R.G. Williamson, and A.D. Zunkel
- "The Regeneration of Hydrochloric Acid In a Two Membrane Nickel Chloride
Electrowinning Cell" by L. Liao, A. van Sandwijk, and G. Van Weert
- "Energy and Volume Requirements for Oxygen Transfer to Sand Slurries in the
(Delft Inclined Plate) Aerator" by G. Van Weert and A. Borleffs
- "Ambient Pressure Production of Crystalline Scorodite from Arsenic-Rich
Metallurgical Effluent Solutions" by D.J. Droppert, G.P. Demopoulos, and G.B.
- "An Oxidative Chloride Leaching of Palladium Powder" by H. Zhang, X. Meng,
- "The Leaching Behavior of Platinum Powder in Iodide Solutions with Oxygen" by
X. Meng and K.N. Han
- "Bacteria Oxidation of Sulfides During Acid Mine Drainage Formation: A
Mechanistic Study" by K. Nyavor, N.O. Egiebor, and P.M. Fedorak
- "Ferric Chloride Leaching and Metals Recovery of Polymetallic Gold Ore" by
Jian and J.L. Hendrix
- "Operation of the MCLE (Matte Chlorine Leach Electrowinning) Plant for Nickel
Refining at Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd." by S. Makino, M. Sugimoto, F.
Yano, and N. Matsumoto
- "The Quantitative Determination of Sub-PPM Quantities of Au and Pt in Sulfide
Minerals" by L.J. Cabri and G. McMahon
- "Pretreatment Using Alkaline Sulfide Leaching and Nitrogen Species Catalyzed
Pressure Oxidation on a Refractory Gold Concentrate" by C.G. Anderson and S.M.
The use of sodium carbonate for removing antimony and arsenic from molten
copper is an increasingly popular fire-refining procedure. Zhao and Themelis
from Columbia University ("Kinetics of As and Sb Removal from Molten Copper by
Na2CO3 Fluxing") described the results of a laboratory
investigation on how the rate at which this reaction occurs could be improved. Arsenic and antimony
removal is controlled by mass transfer of these impurities through the metal
phase. A model was developed expressing the removal rate as a function of
several controllable variables, including bath agitation,
feed rate, and oxygen content in the molten copper. The location of soda-ash addition was also
important, with injection producing quicker results than surface addition.
Other Presentations from the Process Fundamentals Sessions
Someday your dishwasher will go the way of all dishwashers. When it does,
recovering the plastics used to put it together will be just as important as
recovering the metal parts. Karvelas et al. at the Energy Systems Division of
Argonne National Laboratory ("Recovery and Separation of High Value-Plastics
from Discarded Household Appliances") have been working on the recycling of
household appliances and have developed a process for separating one type of
plastic from another. A variety of minerals processing techniques are involved,
relying largely on the difference in the specific gravities of the different
plastics. Research is currently underway to find a means of separating the
high-impact polystyrene in the waste stream from the
acroylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, which has roughly the same specific gravity
and cannot be separated by ordinary flotation techniques.
- "Conversion of Ilmenite to TiC and Fe Using a Non-Transferred Arc
Thermal Plasma Reactor" by P.R. Taylor, I. Accorsi-Lamb, and M. Manrique
- "A Thermodynamic and Kinetic Analysis of the Carbothermic Reduction of
Kalgoorlie Pentlandite Concentrate in the Presence of Lime" by J. Spindura and
- "Modelling of Sulphide Capacities of Some Silicate Melts" by R. Nilsson, D.
Sichen, and S. Seetharaman
- "Distribution of Selenium and Tellurium Between Matte and Slag in Nickel
Sulfide Smelting" by N. Choi and W.D. Cho
- "Reduction of MnO-FeO-SiO2 Slags by Carbon-Saturated Liquid
Iron" by J.A.S. Tenório and J.R. de Oliveira
- "Oxidation Mechanism of Arsenopyrite in Acidic Ferric Sulphate Media in the
Absence and Presence of Bacteria T. Ferrooxidans" by Y.Z. Zhang, Y.Y. Lu, and
- "Evaluation of Thiourea Consumption for Gold Extraction from Complex and
Refractory Gold Ores" by Y.Z. Zhang
- "The Gas Compositions Calculations on the System of FeS-H2O at
Elevated Temperature" by G.X. Jian
- "The Boundary Layer and Solid-Gas Reactions" by F. Habashi
- "Dissolution of Millerite in Copper(II) Chloride Solutions: A Kinetic
Study" by R.C. Hubli, T.K. Mukherjee, S. Venkatachalam, R.G. Bautista, and C.K.
- "Dissolution of Millerite in Copper(II) Chloride Solutions: A Partial
Equilibrium Model to Characterize Concentration Changes of Chemical Species" by
R.C. Hubli, T.K. Mukherjee, S. Venkatachalam, R.G. Bautista, and C.K. Gupta
A common practice in pyrometallurgical operations is to deliberately freeze a
portion of a molten slag or bath against the furnace wall. This protects the
wall from corrosion by its molten contents and lengthens the furnace's life
span. Voller at the University of Minnesota ("Modeling of Ledges and Skulls")
is using finite-element analysis to model the formation of such ledges based on
the heat balance at the solid-liquid interface as shown above. Such modeling
will allow the prediction of changes in the shape and thickness of ledges as
furnace conditions change, along with the calculation of heat losses from the
furnace as the thickness and profile of the ledge changes. The work is in its
early stages, but shows considerable promise as a useful tool for the
management of pyrometallurgical furnace operations.
The illustration of a horizontal die-casting process shows the position of a
shot sleevea vital part in the proper injection of the molten metal into the
die chamber. Shot sleeves deteriorate quickly and fail in service frequently,
so the need for an improved design process for these parts is apparent. Park
and Brevick at Ohio State University ("Concurrent Engineering of Die Casting
Process Parameters and Tooling") have been working on such a design process,
focusing on the use of martensitic H13 steel. The impact of heat-treatment
temperature on the mechanical properties and critical crack size of the steel
is important in being able to predict the life span of shot sleeves as a
function of their thickness and the temperatures to which they are cyclically
Other Presentations from the Concurrent Engineering Sessions
The desulfurization of weak SO2 gas streams has always
been a problem. Solid absorbents have usually been employed for SO2
removal from these streams, but there is room for improvement. Steiner at Degussa
Corporation ("Off-Gas Desulfurization with Hydrogen Peroxide") discussed the
practice of treating weak off-gas streams by reaction with hydrogen peroxide.
The reaction generates a sulfuric acid solution, removing nearly all of the
SO2 from the off-gas. Scrubbing the off-gas with water prior to
treatment removes most of the metal content, resulting in an acid product suitable for
use as battery acid. The process has been in commercial use for more than a
decade in a variety of production environments.
- "Microstructure Path Planning During Consolidation of Titanium Metal
Matrix Composite Processing" by R. Vancheeswaran, D.G. Meyer, and H.N.G.
- "Metal Matrix Composite Monotape Densification by Transient Creep and
Asperities" by R. Gampala, R. Vancheeswaran, and H.N.G. Wadley
- "Multi-Level Simulation of Bridgeman Growth of
-NiAl and CdTe Crystals" by H. Ouyang and W. Shyy
- "Computation of Magnetically-Supported Free Surface by a Coupled
Finite/Boundary Element Method" by S.P. Song and B.Q. Li
- "Analysis of Thermal Spray Systems by Comprehensive Numerical Simulations"
by X. Yang and S. Eidelman
Another problem area in sulfur removal has been acid-mine waste. De Vegt and
Buisman ("Sulfur Compounds and Heavy Metal Removal Using Bioprocess
Technology") introduced a new process for sulfur recovery from mine waters that
relies on biological processing to precipitate metal sulfides and elemental
sulfur. Their paper discussed the results obtained from a pilot-plant
experiment at the Budelco zinc refinery in Holland. The process was highly
effective at removing trace-metal content from groundwater at the site in
addition to eliminating more than 80 percent of the sulfate content. The new
process has potential value in treating a variety of liquid and gaseous
sulfur-bearing waste streams.
The figure illustrates the dramatic progress made over the past 15 years in
reducing SO2 emissions from the two Polish copper smelters in the
Legnica-Glogów region, as discussed by Byrdziak et al. ("Sulfur Dioxide
Emission Reduction by the Polish Copper Industry"). The most recent
improvements include installation of a new desulfurization facility at Legnica,
which began operation in 1993. The new facility features a single-stage,
contact-acid plant followed by subsequent treatment using the Solinox process.
The SO2 absorbed by the organic solvent used in this second step is
easily regenerated, although additional scrubbing was eventually required for chloride
removal. A new desulfurization facility at Glogów is also under
Other Presentations from the Sulfur Recovery in Copper Production Systems
- "Codelco-Chile's Corporate Decontamination Plan for Its Smelters" by G.
- "Sulfur Fixation at High Temperature within the Copper Smelting Process" by
- "Topsoe WSA Technology Provides Efficient Desulfurization of Off-Gases from
Non-Ferrous Roasters" by O.R. Bendixen and H.K. Hansen
- "Reaction of High Strength Sulfur Dioxide with Limestone and Dolomite at
Elevated Temperature" by R. Cavanagh and N.A. Warner
- "The Sulfur Problem in the Metallurgical Industry" by F. Habashi
- "Behavior of Sulfur During Leaching of Sulfidic Mineral" by T. Havlik and
- "Reduction of SO2-Emissions Behind a Copper Converter in the
Copper Secondary Industry" by J. Wallner, R. Stibich, and E. Veiter
- "Factors Affecting the Utilization Potential of Gypsum Produced from Acid
Neutralization" by L.M. Luckevich
- "Environmental Management Measures Relating to a Greenfield Copper Smelter"
by N.L. Piret and K.H. Schmidt
- "Biooxidation of Copper Sulfides" by R.W. Lawrence and R. Poulin
- "Recent Operation of the Acid Plant at Huelva Copper Smelter" by P.
Barrios, J.L. Bonaño, and J.A. Suárez
- "Arsenic Control in the Sulfuric Acid Plant by the Purification System of
Caraiba Metais" by E.C. Martinez
- "Sulfur Oxide Control at Kennecott's Utah Copper Smelter" by D.B. George,
T.I. Probert, and C.J. Newman
- "Hernan Videla Lira Smelter's Promising Future of the
SO2-Abatement Program" by G. Richter and J. del Castillo
- "Sulfur in the Intec Copper Process" by P.K. Everett
- "Smelter Acid in the Broader Market Perspective" by M.F. Kitto
- "Copper Smelter By-Product Acid" by I.C. Knight
- "Mineralogical Characterization and Superficial Pretreatment of Xenotime
and Zircon from the Pitinga Mine (Amazon, Brazil)" by I.B. Scorzelli, L.C.
Bertolino, M.F.S. Lopes, and M.L. Torem
- "Drilled and Tapped Slurry Pump Parts with Hardness in Excess of 700 HBN"
by G.A. Calboreanu
- "Techniques for Measuring Mineral Liberations by Image Analysis" by W.
Petruk and R. Lastra
Treatment of Bulk Concentrates and Residues in Lead Zinc Tin
- "Progress in Recycling of Automobile Shredder Residue" by B.J. Jody,
E.J. Daniels, and J.A. Pomykala, Jr.
- "Evaluation of Recyclability of Used Automotive Oil Filters as Ferrous
Scrap" by D.E. Roberts, II, and K.D. Peaslee
Materials Processing Fundamentals
- "Lead Recycling Process for Selective Recovery of Precious Metals from
Argentopyrite Concentrates" by J.R. Parga and G.G. Muzquiz
- "Reduction Process of Iron Ores in a Two-Stage Fluidized Bed System" by
Y. Hahn, J. Lee, I. Lee, and K.S. Chang
- "Kinetics of Reactions Between Iron Oxides and Liquid Iron-Carbon Alloys"
by M.B. Mourão, C.A. Rodriguez, and R.S. Maltez
- "A 3-D Numerical Model for Removal of Inclusions to Gas Bubbles" by B.I.
Hop, S.T. Johansen, and B. Rasch
- "Modeling the Columnar-Equiaxed Transition in Castings" by S. Sundarraj, G.
Upadhya, and U. Chandra
- "Application of Factorial Optimization Technique for Generating Kinetic
Data for Hydrometallurgical Processes" by K. Sanjay, S. Anand, and R.P. Das
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark E. Schlesinger is a member of the faculty in the Department of Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla.
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