Analysis of the sulfur decoppering from molten lead by powder injection

Abstract

A copper removal process was carried out in a Pb-Cu alloy through sulfur powder injection of three different sizes (79.23, 202.83 and 597.15 μm) by a top submerged lance with nitrogen as carrying gas. The higher copper removal as CuS2 was obtained for the sulfur powder size of 79.23 μm, while the lowest copper removal efficiency was attained for the coarse particle size of 597.15 μm. The copper removal was explained according with a relationship between the residence and melting time. The sizes of 202.83 and 597.15 μm presented a longer residence time that promotes the sulfur coalescence and it is lost by burning. An injection-cooling trial was developed and a decoppering fraction of 0.29 with a sulfur efficiency of 72.98% in average was obtained for the fine size. The injection-cooling process represents an attractive route for secondary lead producers in the copper removal from molten lead.

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Correspondence to Victor Hugo Gutierrez P..

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Gutierrez P., V.H., Cruz R., A., Romero S., J.A. et al. Analysis of the sulfur decoppering from molten lead by powder injection. Russ. J. Non-ferrous Metals 56, 251–260 (2015). https://doi.org/10.3103/S1067821215030086

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Keywords

  • lead refining
  • decoppering
  • sulfur injection
  • particle size