Distribution of Minor Elements in the Process of Copper Smelting: Plant Mass Balance and Thermodynamic Analysis

Additonal authors: Li, Lei. 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

Wang, Hua

The distribution and behavior of As, Pb and Zn elements in the copper smelting process were investigated using thermodynamics. The differences between thermodynamics evaluation and practical smelting processes were analyzed. The main factors affecting the distribution of the elements are oxygen enrichment in blowing, copper matte grade and smelting temperature. In general, the distribution ratio of As, Pb and Zn to off gas increases with the smelting temperature and decreases with oxygen enrichment in blowing. Meanwhile, their distributions in matte decreases and that in slag increases with the increase of copper matte grade. There is some gap in distributions between thermodynamics evaluation and practical smelting processes. INTRODUCTION The copper concentrates usually contain a number of minor elements, the control of which in copper smelting processes is often a key to the quality of the anode copper produced and may also have a bearing on the overall economics of the process (Yang et al., 2017). Knowledge of the thermodynamic properties of the minor elements in slag is very important in the control of the slagging reactions (Takeda Y, Ishiwata & Yazawa, 2007). In addition, the environmental contamination caused by the minor elements associated with copper-bearing ores, such as As, Pb and Zn, has become more and more important (Wang, 2004). Arsenic, lead and antimony, which are all carcinogenic metalloid elements, are usually contained in iron-rich wastes, and theirs emissions are considered to be one of the foremost environmental concerns (Wang, 2004). It is important to elucidate the elements distribution of them in the reducing-matte smelting process. The distributions of As, Pb and Zn elements in the copper smelting process are dependent on many factors, including the temperature, raw material composition, reduction atmosphere, concentration level, and slag chemistry etc. (Chen L Z, Xu X, 2016). Generally, these minor elements mainly distribute in phases of gas, copper matte and slag in the smelting process (Shu, Wang, & Qu, 2016). The arsenic exists mainly in the form of sulfo-arsenides in the copper concentrate, and it will decompose and be oxidized in the smelting process (Chen & Lu, 2016). Part of the products, including AsS, AsO, As2 and As2O3, evaporates into the gaseous state, and some other part enters into slag phase in the form of As2O3 and As2O5 (Wang, Guo, & Tian, 2017). Meanwhile, the As2O3 in the slag phase can also be reduced to metallic As and combine with Cu, S, Fe forming Cu3As2, As2S3 and Fe3As2, and then enter into copper matte. During the copper smelting process, about 50% of zinc enters into slag phase in the form of ZnO and 45% exists in the copper matte in the form of ZnS. Little volatizes into the gas phase. Most lead exists in forms of PbS and PbO in the copper concentrate, and it is mainly distributed in copper matte in the smelting process (Zheng & Lin, 2015).
Mots Clés: Copper 2019, COM2019
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