Special Issue "Advances in Pyrometallurgy"

A special issue of Metals (ISSN 2075-4701).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Ari Jokilaakso
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering, Aalto University, PO Box 16100, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland
Interests: transport phenomena; pyrometallurgy; flash smelting of copper; computational fluid dynamics of metallurgical processes; secondary and complex raw materials; circular economy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There are several major megatrends having an impact on Pyrometallurgical metals processing. The steadily growing demand for all metals is strengthened by the emerging of electrical vehicles (EV) which brings along the high need of the battery metals, but additionally a significant increase in copper consumption. Even if only the moderate forecasts for the amount of the EVs become true, production of the base metals has to increase tens of percentages or even more than double. At the same time, Pyrometallurgical processes have to produce less side products, such as slag, and keep the primary product quality level although raw material mixtures are increasingly complex and new elements are entering the processes in secondary raw materials.

Therefore, it is imperative to continue the development of Pyrometallurgical processes more efficient and productive, while still improving their selectivity what comes to slagging the unwanted and recovering the desired elements. This special issue is for current advances in Pyrometallurgical processing of metals, including all aspects, namely, the basic unit processes and operations in a smelter, metallurgical engineering, furnace integrity, cooling systems, modelling, slag and offgas handling to name a few. Results from both scientific research and industrial observations or test and piloting campaigns are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Ari Jokilaakso
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Metals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Pyrometallurgy
  • Unit processes
  • Process development
  • Base metals
  • Iron and steel
  • Critical metals
  • Battery metals
  • Metallurgical engineering
  • Circular economy

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Self-Reduction Behavior of Bio-Coal Containing Iron Ore Composites
Metals 2020, 10(1), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10010133 - 16 Jan 2020
Abstract
The utilization of CO2 neutral carbon instead of fossil carbon is one way to mitigate CO2 emissions in the steel industry. Using reactive reducing agent, e.g., bio-coal (pre-treated biomass) in iron ore composites for the blast furnace can also enhance the [...] Read more.
The utilization of CO2 neutral carbon instead of fossil carbon is one way to mitigate CO2 emissions in the steel industry. Using reactive reducing agent, e.g., bio-coal (pre-treated biomass) in iron ore composites for the blast furnace can also enhance the self-reduction. The current study aims at investigating the self-reduction behavior of bio-coal containing iron ore composites under inert conditions and simulated blast furnace thermal profile. Composites with and without 10% bio-coal and sufficient amount of coke breeze to keep the C/O molar ratio equal to one were mixed and Portland cement was used as a binder. The self-reduction of composites was investigated by thermogravimetric analyses under inert atmosphere. To explore the reduction progress in each type of composite vertical tube furnace tests were conducted in nitrogen atmosphere up to temperatures selected based on thermogravimetric results. Bio-coal properties as fixed carbon, volatile matter content and ash composition influence the reduction of iron oxide. The reduction of the bio-coal containing composites begins at about 500 °C, a lower temperature compared to that for the composite with coke as only carbon source. The hematite was successfully reduced to metallic iron at 850 °C by using bio-coal, whereas with coke as a reducing agent temperature up to 1100 °C was required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pyrometallurgy)
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Open AccessArticle
Mechanism of CaF2 under Vacuum Carbothermal Conditions for Recovering Nickel, Iron, and Magnesium from Garnierite
Metals 2020, 10(1), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10010129 - 15 Jan 2020
Abstract
Nickel laterite ore is divided into three layers and the garnierite examined in this study belongs to the third layer. Garnierite is characterized by high magnesium and silicon contents. The main contents of garnierite are silicates, and nickel, iron, and magnesium exist in [...] Read more.
Nickel laterite ore is divided into three layers and the garnierite examined in this study belongs to the third layer. Garnierite is characterized by high magnesium and silicon contents. The main contents of garnierite are silicates, and nickel, iron, and magnesium exist in silicates in the form of lattice exchange. Silicate minerals are difficult to destroy so are suitable for smelting using high-temperature pyrometallurgy. To solve the problem of the large amounts of slag produced and the inability to recycle the magnesium in the traditional pyrometallurgical process, we propose a vacuum carbothermal reduction and magnetic separation process to recover nickel, iron, and magnesium from garnierite, and the behavior of the additive CaF2 in the reduction process was investigated. Experiments were conducted under pressures ranging from 10 to 50 Pa with different proportions of CaF2 at different temperatures. The experimental data were obtained by various methods, such as thermogravimetry, differential scanning calorimetry, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectrometry, X-ray diffraction, and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy. The analysis results indicate that CaF2 directly reacted with Mg2SiO4, MgSiO3, Ni2SiO4, and Fe2SiO4, which were isolated from the bearing minerals, to produce low-melting-point compounds (FeF2, MgF2, NiF2, etc.) at 1315 and 1400 K. This promoted the conversion of the raw materials from a solid–solid reaction to a liquid–liquid reaction, accelerating the mass transfer and the heat transfer of Fe–Ni particles, and formed Si–Ni–Fe alloy particles with diameters of approximately of 20 mm. The smelting materials appeared stratified, hindering the reduction of magnesium. The results of the experiments indicate that at 1723 K, the molar ratio of ore/C was 1:1.2, the addition of CaF2 was 3%, the recovery of Fe and Ni reached 82.97% and 98.21% in the vacuum carbothermal reduction–magnetic separation process, respectively, and the enrichment ratios of Fe and Ni were maximized, reaching 3.18 and 9.35, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pyrometallurgy)
Open AccessArticle
Production of Ferronickel Concentrate from Low-Grade Nickel Laterite Ore by Non-Melting Reduction Magnetic Separation Process
Metals 2019, 9(12), 1340; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9121340 - 12 Dec 2019
Abstract
The production of ferronickel concentrate from low-grade nickel laterite ore containing 1.31% nickel (Ni) was studied by the non-melting reduction magnetic separation process. The sodium chloride was used as additive and coal as a reductant. The effects of roasting temperature, roasting duration, reductant [...] Read more.
The production of ferronickel concentrate from low-grade nickel laterite ore containing 1.31% nickel (Ni) was studied by the non-melting reduction magnetic separation process. The sodium chloride was used as additive and coal as a reductant. The effects of roasting temperature, roasting duration, reductant dosage, additive dosage, and grinding time on the grade and recovery were investigated. The optimal reduction conditions are a roasting temperature of 1250 °C, roasting duration of 80 min, reductant dosage of 10%, additive dosage of 5%, and a grinding time of 12 min. The grades of nickel and iron are improved from 2.13% and 51.12% to 8.15% and 64.28%, and the recovery of nickel is improved from 75.40% to 97.76%. The research results show that the additive in favor of the phase changes from lizardite phase to forsterite phase. The additive promotes agglomeration and separation of nickel and iron. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pyrometallurgy)
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Open AccessArticle
Metallothermic Al-Sc Co-Reduction by Vacuum Induction Melting Using Ca
Metals 2019, 9(11), 1223; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9111223 - 14 Nov 2019
Abstract
Due to its enhancing properties in high-tech material applications, the rare earth element Scandium (Sc) is continuously gaining interest from researchers and material developers. The aim of this research is to establish an energy and resource efficient process scheme for an in situ [...] Read more.
Due to its enhancing properties in high-tech material applications, the rare earth element Scandium (Sc) is continuously gaining interest from researchers and material developers. The aim of this research is to establish an energy and resource efficient process scheme for an in situ extraction of Al-Sc master alloys, which offers usable products for the metallurgical industry. An AlSc20 alloy is targeted with an oxyfluoridic slag as a usable by-product. The thermochemical baseline is presented by modelling using the software tool FactSage; the experimental metal extraction is conducted in a vacuum induction furnace with various parameters, whereas kinetic aspects are investigated by thermogravimetric analysis. The Sc-containing products are analyzed by ICP-OES/IC concerning their chemical composition. Optimum parameters are derived from a statistical evaluation of the Sc content in the obtained slag phase. The material obtained was high in Ta due to the crucible material and remarkably low in Al and F; a comparison between the modelled and the obtained phases indicates kinetic effects inhibiting the accomplishment of equilibrium conditions. The formation of a Sc-rich Al-Sc phase (32.5 wt.-% Sc) is detected by SEM-EDS analysis of the metal phase. An in situ extraction of Al from Ca with subsequent metallothermic reduction of ScF 3 as a process controlling mechanism is presumed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pyrometallurgy)
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Open AccessArticle
Spectral Characterization of Copper and Iron Sulfide Combustion: A Multivariate Data Analysis Approach for Mineral Identification on the Blend
Metals 2019, 9(9), 1017; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9091017 - 19 Sep 2019
Abstract
The pyrometallurgical processes for primary copper production have only off-line and time-demanding analytical techniques to characterize the in and out streams of the smelting and converting steps. Since these processes are highly exothermic, relevant process information could potentially be obtained from the visible [...] Read more.
The pyrometallurgical processes for primary copper production have only off-line and time-demanding analytical techniques to characterize the in and out streams of the smelting and converting steps. Since these processes are highly exothermic, relevant process information could potentially be obtained from the visible and near-infrared radiation emitted to the environment. In this work, we apply spectral sensing and multivariate data analysis methodologies to identify and classify copper and iron sulfide minerals present in the blend from spectra measured during their combustion in a laboratory drop-tube setup, in which chemical reactions that take place in flash smelting furnaces can be reproduced. Controlled combustion experiments were conducted with two industrial concentrates and with high-grade mineral species as well, with a focus on pyrite and chalcopyrite. Exploratory analysis by means of Principal Component Analysis (PCA) applied on the spectral data depicted high correlation features among species with similar elemental compositions. Classification algorithms were tested on the spectral data, and a classification accuracy of 95.3% with a support vector machine (SVM) algorithm with a Gaussian kernel was achieved. The results obtained by the described procedures are shown to be very promising as a first step in the development of a predictive and analytical tool in search of fitting the current need for real-time control of pyrometallurgical processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pyrometallurgy)
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Open AccessArticle
Modification Mechanism of Spinel Inclusions in Medium Manganese Steel with Rare Earth Treatment
Metals 2019, 9(7), 804; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9070804 - 21 Jul 2019
Abstract
In aluminum deoxidized medium manganese steel, spinel inclusions are easily to form during refining, and such inclusions will deteriorate the toughness of the medium manganese steel. Rare earth inclusions have a smaller hardness, and their thermal expansion coefficients are similar to that of [...] Read more.
In aluminum deoxidized medium manganese steel, spinel inclusions are easily to form during refining, and such inclusions will deteriorate the toughness of the medium manganese steel. Rare earth inclusions have a smaller hardness, and their thermal expansion coefficients are similar to that of steel. They can avoid large stress concentrations around inclusions during the heat treatment of steel, which is beneficial for improving the toughness of steel. Therefore, rare earth Ce is usually used to modify spinel inclusions in steel. In order to clarify the modification mechanism of spinel inclusions in medium manganese steel with Ce treatment, high-temperature simulation experiments were carried out. Samples were taken step by step during the experimental steel smelting process, and the inclusions in the samples were analyzed by SEM-EDS. Finally, the experimental results were discussed and analyzed in combination with thermodynamic calculations. The results show that after Ce treatment, the amount of inclusions decrease, the inclusion size is basically less than 5 μm, and the spinel inclusions are transformed into rare earth inclusions. After Ce addition, Mn and Mg in the spinel inclusions are first replaced by Ce, and the spinel structure is destroyed to form CeAlO3. When the O content in the steel is low, S in the steel will replace the O in the inclusion, and CeAlO3 and spinel inclusions will be transformed into Ce2O2S. By measuring the total oxygen content of the steel, the total Ce content required for complete modification of spinel inclusions can be obtained. Finally, the critical conditions for the formation and transformation of inclusions in the Fe-Mn-Al-Mg-Ce-O-S system at 1873K were obtained according to thermodynamic calculations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pyrometallurgy)
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Open AccessArticle
Deposits in Gas-fired Rotary Kiln for Limonite Magnetization-Reduction Roasting: Characteristics and Formation Mechanism
Metals 2019, 9(7), 764; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9070764 - 08 Jul 2019
Abstract
The formation mechanism of deposits in commercial gas-fired magnetization-reduction roasting rotary kiln was studied. The deposits ring adhered on the kiln wall based on the bonding of low melting point eutectic liquid phase, and the deposit adhered on the air duct head by [...] Read more.
The formation mechanism of deposits in commercial gas-fired magnetization-reduction roasting rotary kiln was studied. The deposits ring adhered on the kiln wall based on the bonding of low melting point eutectic liquid phase, and the deposit adhered on the air duct head by impact deposition. The chemical composition and microstructure of the deposits sampled at different locations varied slightly. Besides a small amount of quartz and limonite, main phases in the deposits are fayalite, glass phase and magnetite. The formation of the deposits can be attributed to the derivation of low melting point eutectic of fine limonite and coal ash, and the solid state reaction between them. Coal ash, originated from the reduction coal, combining together with fine limonite particles, results in the accumulation of deposits on the kiln wall and air duct. Fayalite, the binder phase, was a key factor for deposit formation. The residual carbon in limonite may cause an over-reduction of limonite and produce FeO. Amid the roasting process, SiO2, originated from limonite and coal ash, may combine with FeO and reduce the liquefaction temperature, therewith liquid phase generates at high temperature zone, which can significantly promote the growth of deposits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pyrometallurgy)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Titanium Carbonitride on the Viscosity of High-Titanium-Type Blast Furnace Slag
Metals 2019, 9(4), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9040395 - 30 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this paper, the effect of titanium carbonitride (Ti(C,N)) on the viscosity of high-titanium-type blast furnace slags was investigated. The different Ti(C,N) contents were achieved by adjusting the reduction degree of TiO2 to reflect the real characteristics of the high-titanium slag. The [...] Read more.
In this paper, the effect of titanium carbonitride (Ti(C,N)) on the viscosity of high-titanium-type blast furnace slags was investigated. The different Ti(C,N) contents were achieved by adjusting the reduction degree of TiO2 to reflect the real characteristics of the high-titanium slag. The results show that the viscosity of the slag increased with the increasing Ti(C,N) content and decreased with the rising temperature. A deviation between the measured and the fitted viscosity appeared as the content of the Ti(C,N) was beyond 4 wt%. Furthermore, the apparent viscous flow activation energy of the slag ranged from 106.13 kJ/mol to 235.46 kJ/mol by varying the Ti(C,N) contents from 0 wt% to 4.97 wt%, which was evidently different from the results of previous studies. The optical microscope and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analysis show that numerous bubble cavities were embedded in the slags and the Ti(C,N) particles agglomerated in the solidified samples. This phenomenon further indicates that the high-titanium slag is a polyphase dispersion system, which consists of liquid slag, solid Ti(C,N) particles and bubbles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pyrometallurgy)
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