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Open AccessArticle

Sulfides Formation in Carbothermic Reduction of Saprolitic Nickel Laterite Ore Using Low-Rank Coals and Additives: A Thermodynamic Simulation Analysis

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Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Indonesia, Kampus Baru UI, Depok 16424, Indonesia
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Department of Mechanical and Product Design Engineering, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, VIC 3122, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2019, 9(10), 631; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9100631
Received: 9 September 2019 / Revised: 9 October 2019 / Accepted: 14 October 2019 / Published: 15 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Processing of Alternative and Urban Ores)
In this paper, a systematic thermodynamic analysis of carbothermic reduction of saprolitic nickel laterite ore was carried out. Different carbon sources—such as pure C, sub-bituminous, and lignite—were used for the carbothermic reduction at 1000 °C (1273 K). The effect of the different additives—such as S, FeS, Na2S, Na2SO4, and CaSO4—was also systematically evaluated. The thermodynamic calculations suggested that the use of low rank coals (sub-bituminous and lignite) do not significantly affect the nickel grade and nickel recovery, but affect the total metals recovery. The presence of S in these C-sources promoted the formation of sulfides. At 1000 °C (1273 K), only a small amount of C-sources (C, sub-bituminous, lignite) are needed to significantly metallize the nickel in the laterite, i.e., between 4–6 wt %. The additives S, FeS, Na2S, Na2SO4, and CaSO4 were predicted to promote the formation of liquid sulfides, and at the same time reduce the formation of the (Fe,Ni) alloy, thus reducing the nickel and total metals recovery. Therefore, consideration is needed to balance the two aspects. The calculations predicted that S, Na2SO4, and CaSO4 additions provided an increase in the nickel grade; while FeS and Na2S reduced the nickel grade. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbothermic reduction; saprolitic nickeliferous; lignite; sub-bituminous; S addition; FeS addition; Na2S addition; Na2SO4 addition; CaSO4 addition carbothermic reduction; saprolitic nickeliferous; lignite; sub-bituminous; S addition; FeS addition; Na2S addition; Na2SO4 addition; CaSO4 addition
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Harjanto, S.; Rhamdhani, M.A. Sulfides Formation in Carbothermic Reduction of Saprolitic Nickel Laterite Ore Using Low-Rank Coals and Additives: A Thermodynamic Simulation Analysis. Minerals 2019, 9, 631.

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