Recovery of copper and cobalt from industrial slag by top-submerged injection of gaseous reductants
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Slag from an electric slag cleaning furnace was injected with methane and air mixtures to facilitate the recovery of copper and cobalt. The effects of methane-to-air ratio, gas flow rate and temperature on the reduction and metal separation were investigated. The results showed that over 90 percent copper and up to 60 percent cobalt could be recovered from the slag with a gas utilization of around 70 percent, as calculated by thermodynamic simulation. Methane-to-air ratio was a major factor affecting the rate of reduction under the present experimental conditions. Further, injection of gaseous reductants greatly enhanced the coalescence and settling of entrained metal droplets. A reduction mechanism is proposed and the factors influencing the coalescence of copper droplets are discussed.
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