Mechanism of Na2SO4 Promoting Nickel Extraction from Sulfide Concentrates by Sulfation Roasting–Water Leaching
As a more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient route, the sulfation roasting–water leaching technique has been developed for highly effective extraction of non-ferrous metals from nickel sulfide concentrate in the presence of a Na2SO4 additive. The effects of several important roasting parameters—the roasting temperature, the addition of Na2SO4, the holding time, and the heating rate in particular—have been investigated. The results suggest that about 90 pct Ni, 92 pct Co, 95 pct Cu, and < 1 pct Fe can be leached from the calcine roasted under the optimum conditions. Furthermore, the behavior and mechanism of the Na2SO4 additive in the roasting process have been well addressed by detailed characterization of the roasted product and leaching residue using quantitative phase analysis (QPA) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) mapping. The Na2SO4 additive was observed to play a noticeable role in promoting the sulfation degree of valuable metals by forming liquid phases [Na2Me(SO4)2] at the outermost layer, which can create a suitable dynamic environment for sulfation. Thus, addition of Na2SO4 might be conducive to an alternative metallurgical process involving complex sulfide ores.
The authors wish to thank other colleagues in Shanghai University for their active supports and constructive comments. The funding for this work was provided by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) Grant No. 2014CB643403.
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