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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717

Abstract

ABDELLATIF, M.. Smelting of calcined basic nickel carbonate concentrate in a 200 kW DC arc furnace. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2015, vol.115, n.8, pp. 691-697. ISSN 2411-9717.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2411-9717/2015/v115N8A5.

Calcined basic nickel carbonate (BNC) concentrate was smelted in a pilot-scale DC arc furnace to produce a nickel metal. The furnace was continuously operated for 12 days (24 hour/day), during which twelve different smelting conditions were investigated, with the major variables being reductant type and feed rate, flux composition and addition, and BNC feed rate. The 200 kW DC arc furnace was operated at power levels between 110 and 165 kW and at a total feed rate of 78 to 96 kg/h, resulting in an average slag and metal tapping temperature of about 1650°C. A total of 7.2 t of BNC were smelted, producing about 5.44 t of nickel metal and 2.94 t of slag. Nickel recoveries of 96.4% and higher were achieved, and the slag nickel content was as low as 0.1%. The major impurities in the metal were iron (mostly from oxygen lancing) and carbon. The calculated feed carry-over was less than 0.85% and the graphite electrode consumption was between 2.8-3.3 kg/MWh.

Keywords : nickel smelting; DC arc furnace; calcined basic nickel carbonate; BNC.

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