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Metal losses in pyrometallurgical operations - a review

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Nowadays, a higher demand on a lot of metals exists, but the quantity and purity of the ores decreases. The amount of scrap, on the other hand, increases and thus, recycling becomes more important. Besides recycling, it is also necessary to improve and optimize existing processes in extractive and recycling metallurgy. One of the main difficulties of the overall-plant recovery are metal losses in slags, in both primary and secondary metal production. In general, an increased understanding of the fundamental mechanisms governing these losses could help further improve production efficiencies. This review aims to summarize and evaluate the current scientific knowledge concerning metal losses and pinpoints the knowledge gaps.First, the industrial importance and impact of metal losses in slags will be illustrated by several examples from both ferrous and non-ferrous industries. Throughout the remainder of this review, the main focus will be put on the particular issues in copper industry. In a second section, the different types of metal losses in slags will be discussed. Generally, metal losses in slags can be subdivided into two types: chemical losses and physical losses. The fundamental insights concerning the responsible mechanisms will be discussed for each type. Subsequently, an overview of the most frequently used techniques for research investigations of the losses will be given. In a fourth section, a more detailed overview will be given on the post-processing treatment of metal-containing slags, i.e. performing slag cleaning operations. The most frequently applied methods will be discussed.
Volume: 255
Pages: 47 - 63
Number of pages: 17
Publication year:2018