Air Granulation of Copper Slags for Iron Silicate Production Part 2: Drawing Parallels from Air Granulation of PGM Converter Slag

Additonal authors: Uys, N.. Book title: Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019. Chapter: . Chapter title:

Proceedings, Vol. Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019, 2019

van Rensburg, JP. Janse

For city smelters, with limited real estate, efficient slag cleaning furnaces followed by water granulation to produce an iron silicate product is the preferred process approach. Water granulation, however, consumes large volumes of water and requires high maintenance due to abrasive slag/water slurries. Air granulation offers an alternative to water granulation, which eliminates water use and has low maintenance requirements. Although full-scale operation has not been implemented for copper slags, full-scale operation for platinum group metal (PGM) converter slag has been implemented. A review of full-scale air granulation performance for PGM converter slag is provided. Based on PGM converter slag granulation performance, parallels to copper slag granulation are drawn and full-scale operation for copper slag is modelled using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). INTRODUCTION Typical slag management practices in the copper industry include dumping, slow air cooling, and water granulation, as shown in Figure 1. Dumping is the most commonly used slag handling method for most metal production plants, but presents challenges including the requirement for a large slag pit, requirement for expensive/high-maintenance “hot” mobile equipment, risks associated with transportation of molten slag, and no value recovery from slag as a sellable by-product or from slag as a source of heat.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019