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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

J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. vol.109 n.10 Johannesburg Oct. 2009




Recovery of base metals and PGMs in a DC alloy-smelting furnace



R.T. Jones; I.J. Geldenhuys; Q.G. Reynolds

Pyrometallurgy Division, Mintek, Randburg, South Africa




Base metals and platinum group metals can be collected in metallic alloy form, via a wide variety of smelting processes. The recovery, or degree of collection, of the valuable metals is a function of the extent of reduction in the furnace, which, in turn, is indicated by the fraction of iron present in the feed materials that report to the alloy. An equation has been developed that relates the recovery of various metals (such as Ni, Co, Cr, and PGMs) to the recovery of Fe. This recovery equation (for each metal) is characterized by a single parameter (Ky) that can either be empirically fitted to the data, or expressed in terms of the equilibrium constant and the ratios of the activity coefficients involved. Data from a number of varied DC arc furnace campaigns are presented to illustrate this behavior.



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