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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X


DE MEYER, A.  and  STEENKAMP, J.D.. Optimizing yield of metallic zinc tapped from a zinc smelter by studying factors causing zinc losses to dross. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2010, vol.110, n.4, pp.169-174. ISSN 2411-9717.

Zincor experienced significant losses of metallic zinc to dross during the melting of zinc cathode plates. In this study five factors affecting the formation of dross are identified from literature. Dross from both the plant and that produced in the laboratory is characterized using XRD. An empirical model, based on laboratory-scale investigations, was developed to quantify the effect these factors on their own or in combination with each other has on the amount of zinc loss to dross. The predictive capability of the model is evaluated based on the laboratory-scale investigations. Predictions are made on the effects that heat treating the cathode plates prior to melting, increasing the cathode plate thickness, washing and drying prior to melting, and loading the furnace in a controlled manner have on the amount of zinc loss to dross.

Keywords : Zinc; dross; optimize; smelter; yield; losses; empirical; model; XRD.

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