Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
versão On-line ISSN 2411-9717
PAPHANE, B.D; NKOANE, B.B.M. e OYETUNJI, O.A. Kinetic studies on the leaching reactions in the autoclave circuit of the Tati Hydrometallurgical Demonstration Plant. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2013, vol.113, n.6, pp. 485-489. ISSN 2411-9717.
Since the commissioning of the Tati Hydrometallurgical Demonstration Plant (HDP), which produces Ni and Cu cathodes as well as Co salt from sulphide concentrate employing Activox® technology for leaching, no kinetic data has been generated from the plant under normal operating conditions, from start-up to steady state. Therefore, this study seeks to determine the rate of reactions in the leaching circuit with a view to obtaining kinetic data for the system under the current operating conditions. Within the five-compartment autoclave operating at temperatures of 105°C to 110°C and 1100 kPa pressure, the extraction of Ni, Cu, and Co ions into solution is achieved through the oxidation of the sulphide concentrate using approximately 50 kg H2SO4 per ton, 10 kg NaCl per ton, and 1.21 kg O2 per kilogram of S2-. The autoclave reactions showed complex kinetics, with the reactions proceeding via some intermediate(s) before the formation of products. The results suggest that the reactions were dependent on the size of the metal ion of interest and the concentrations of the metal ions in the Tati concentrate as well as in chloride leaching. The order of the leaching rate constants was Fe2+ > Cu2+ > Ni2+ > Co2+ in all the compartments studied. The rates of leaching were also found to decrease as the concentrate moves from compartment 1 to compartment 4. For compartments 1 to 3, leaching was observed to be preceded by dilution of the repulp liquor (copper raffinate). The leaching rate for compartment 5 was slightly lower than that of compartment 1 but higher than the rates of compartments 2, 3, and 4 for all the metals studied.
Palavras-chave : kinetics; hydrometallurgical plant; Activox® leaching; autoclave circuit; absorption; rate constants.