Additonal authors: Ghahreman, Ahmad. Book title: Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019. Chapter: . Chapter title:
Silver and cupric ions have been proven to play the roles of catalysts to promote the oxidation kinetics of chalcopyrite in acid solution. In this study, the interaction between silver ions and cupric ions during ferric leaching of chalcopyrite in sulfuric acid solution has been investigated. The electrochemical study by Tafel analysis showed a significant boost of dissolution rate for chalcopyrite dissolution in Fe3+- Cu2+ containing sulfuric acid solution after Ag+ was added in the solution. For 10 ppm Ag addition, the dissolution rate of chalcopyrite increased to 7.94 ×10-6 A/cm2 from 3.2 ×10-7 A/cm2, when Ag+ was absent. On the other hand, the effect of Cu2+ on the dissolution of chalcopyrite in Fe3+-Ag+ containing sulfuric acid solution was not obvious from electrochemical measurements. The chalcopyrite leaching tests in different acid solutions showed that silver addition had an obvious catalytic effect on promoting chalcopyrite dissolution. Comparing the leaching rates of chalcopyrite leached in Fe3+ containing, Fe3+-Ag+ containing, Fe3+-Cu2+ containing and Fe3+-Cu2+-Ag+ containing sulfuric acid solutions, it was found in Ag+-Fe3+-Cu2+ containing sulfuric acid solution, the leaching rate was highest among all the aqueous acid systems. Further leaching tests suggested that with increase of the Ag+ concentration from 0 to 20 ppm, the leaching rate of chalcopyrite in Ag+-Fe3+-Cu2+ containing sulfuric acid solution also increased and reached 57.62% with 20 ppm Ag+ addition after 24 h.
Chalcopyrite is the most important copper mineral in copper hydrometallurgy and it accounts for nearly 80% of the universal copper resource (Olvera, Rebolledo, Mora, Dixon, & Asselin, 2018). The hydrometallurgy of chalcopyrite has been intensively studied with emphasis on solving the slow dissolution kinetics of chalcopyrite in acid environment. A variety of aqueous systems, such as sulfate (Hiroyoshi, Miki, Hirajima, & Tsunekawa, 2001), chlorides (Liu, Chen, & Yang, 2017), and ammonia (Hua et al., 2018) have been studied to improve copper leaching. From another perspective, chalcopyrite leaching studies have indicated that the mechanism of chalcopyrite dissolution in acid solution is essentially electrochemical (Li, Kawashima, Li, Chandra, & Gerson, 2013). Therefore, extensive studies have recently been carried out to explain the dissolution kinetics of chalcopyrite in different media by various electrochemical techniques.