Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 1213–1222 | Cite as

Mechanism of Selenium Loss in Copper Slag

  • Bhavin Desai
  • Vilas Tathavadkar
  • Somnath Basu


During smelting of copper sulfide concentrate, selenium is distributed between silica-saturated iron-silicate slag and copper-iron sulfide matte. The recovery coefficients of selenium between slag and matte were determined as a function of the initial concentration of selenium at 1523 K (1250 °C) under an inert atmosphere in a vertical tubular furnace. The initial concentration of selenium was varied by the addition of metallic selenium as well as selenium dioxide to the mixture of slag and matte. Analysis of the results indicated high affinity of selenium for matte. The apparent loss of selenium with the slag was attributed to the presence of selenium-enriched matte particles entrapped in the slag, rather than dissolved SeO2. The mechanisms proposed by previous investigators were discussed and also compared with the results of the present investigation.



Recovery coefficient of selenium between matte and slag


Recovery coefficient of copper between matte and slag


Subscript for matte


Subscript for slag


Subscript for gas



This work was jointly supported by the Aditya Birla Science & Technology Co Pvt Ltd. (ABSTC) and Hindalco Birla Copper Ltd. The assistance of the Analytical Services group at ABSTC for chemical analyses is gratefully appreciated. The authors wish to specifically thank Ms. Preeti Navghare (ME&MS Department) and Mr. Javed Shaikh (Earth Science Department) at IIT Bombay for electron microscopy and EPMA of the samples, and Professor S.C. Patel for guidance on the use of EPMA technique. Special thanks to Professor A.K. Lahiri and Professor S. Seetharaman for their guidance, and to Mr. Akshay Rao for his support in carrying out the EPMA as well as SEM-EDS analyses.


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aditya Birla Science and Technology Company Pvt. LtdMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Indian Institute of TechnologyMumbaiIndia

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