Cleaner Recycling of Spent Lead-Acid Battery Paste and Co-Treatment of Pyrite Cinder via a Reductive Sulfur-Fixing Method for Valuable Metal Recovery and Sulfur Conservation
School of Metallurgy and Environment, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering, Aalto University, P.O. Box 16100, 02150 Espoo, Finland
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2019, 9(8), 911; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9080911
Received: 28 July 2019 / Revised: 13 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Science Based Concepts for Increased Efficiency in Battery Recycling)
This study proposes a cleaner lead-acid battery (LAB) paste and pyrite cinder (PyC) recycling method without excessive generation of SO2. PyCs were employed as sulfur-fixing reagents to conserve sulfur as condensed sulfides, which prevented SO2 emissions. In this work, the phase transformation mechanisms in a PbSO4-Na2CO3-Fe3O4-C reaction system were studied in detail. Furthermore, the co-treatment of spent LAB and PyCs was conducted to determine the optimal recycling conditions and to detect the influences of different processing parameters on lead recovery and sulfur fixation. In addition, a bench-scale experiment was carried out to confirm the feasibility and reliability of this novel process. The results reveal that the products were separated into three distinct layers: slag, ferrous matte, and crude lead. 98.3% of lead and 99% of silver in the feed materials were directly enriched in crude lead. Crude lead with purity of more than 98 wt.% (weight percent) was obtained by a one-step extraction. Lead contents in the produced matte and slag were below 2.7 wt.% and 0.6 wt.%, respectively. At the same time, 99.2% total sulfur was fixed and recovered.