Hydrochloric Acid Regeneration from Hydrometallurgical Chloride Salt Wastes — A Sustainable Technology

Additonal authors: McKinley, Caitlyn J.. 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

Sauber, Maziar E.

Ever-growing global needs for critical metals, such as rare earth elements (REE), and base metals, such as copper and nickel, and their environmental impact motivated the pursuit of sustainable flowsheets. Regeneration of hydrochloric acid in chloride-based leaching flowsheets as a critical unit operation is an example of such endeavours. This study presents an efficient hydrochloric acid regeneration method from a magnesium chloride solution waste by addition of sulphuric acid in relatively low temperatures. The effects of temperature, initial magnesium chloride concentration, amount of sulphuric acid added, and airflow are examined. Experimental work are focused on temperatures between 80 and 95°C, initial magnesium chloride concentrations of 2 to 5 M, 100% to 220% stoichiometric sulphuric acid additions, and airflows between 200 to 600 mL/min. The developed technology recovers hydrochloric acid at a high rate and concentration with a relatively small environmental footprint. INTRODUCTION The mining and metals sector is under increasing environmental and economic pressure to make more efficient use of chemical reagents and energy in the production process. This affects several areas of process and flowsheet design such as the selection of the most appropriate unit operations and the overall design of the process steps paying heed to sustainability. Owing to the inherent inefficiencies of physical and chemical processes used in the mining industry, there will be materials and streams generated that are not a desirable part of the envisaged flowsheet. Thus, methods are implemented to recover and recycle such effluents. If the recovery and recycling are not economical, then procedures are followed to neutralize and dispose these effluents. In many cases, these effluents are potential contaminants or hazardous materials, and their disposal should be looked at in a much larger context. The safe management of the contaminants and hazardous effluents is a daunting problem in the mining industry and is fraught with technological, economic, social, and political challenges.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019