Chlorine Addition to Existing Zinc Fuming Processes: A Thermodynamic Study

  • Sabrina Van WinkelEmail author
  • Lennart Scheunis
  • Frederik Verhaeghe
  • Bart Blanpain
  • Annelies Malfliet
Research Article


Zinc fuming processes are used to volatilize heavy metals from slags and produce a clean slag. Since alternative fuel sources containing plastics are explored, the effect of chlorides becomes relevant. In this paper, the influence of Cl additions to a zinc fuming process on the Zn volatilization is investigated. Thermodynamic calculations were carried out on available industrial data from three different installations. The effects on the fuming performance of the α-value (mol O2/ mol C, in a range of 0.5 to 0.75), chloride source (Cl2, KCl, NaCl, MgCl2, and CaCl2), and added chloride amounts (50, 150, and 500 ppm Cl/min) were investigated. Although the α-value is still the most influential parameter for the overall zinc fuming rate, chloride additions can have positive effects as well. They make ZnCl2 volatilization possible, which supplements the Zn volatilization. Large additions of CaCl2 and MgCl2 improve the fuming rate the most since they cause the largest formation of the volatile ZnCl2 and they do not negatively influence Zn volatilization.


Thermodynamics Chlorine Zinc fuming Pyrometallurgy 



The authors would like to thank the Vlaams Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen (VLAIO) and Umicore for the the financial support (Project 140767).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Umicore ResearchOlenBelgium
  3. 3.UmicoreHobokenBelgium

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