Metallurgical treatment of Waelz oxides by alkaline leaching using ammonium carbonate
Keywords:Waelz oxides, Waste treatment, Leaching, Zinc recovery, Ammonium carbonate
A method to carry out the treatment of the Waelz oxides is proposed, and the principal stages implicated are studied laboratory-scale. The process consists of the oxides leaching with an ammonium carbonate/ammonia solution, followed the recovery of the zinc leached by means of its precipitation as zinc basic carbonate. The process stages that have been studied are: Waelz oxides leaching, loaded leach purification, zinc precipitation, zinc basic carbonate washing and zinc basic carbonate transformation. The designed treatment presents a null environmental impact, and more than 90 % of the zinc contained in the Waelz oxides, as well as 80 % of the copper and cadmium contents could be recovered. Also, the process presents great flexibility as soon as zinc could be recovered in the most convenient form (zinc metal, oxide or salt).
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