Abstracting Zinc Flakes from Crude Zinc Oxide Through the Reclamation of Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) Dust

  • Sing-Jhen Wu
  • Jyun-Hong Huang
  • Ah- Der Lin
  • Chien-Kuei Chang
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 293)


In recent years, factories in Taiwan have successively installed dust processing equipment in electric arc steel smelting furnaces (EAF) to reclaim crude zinc oxide which is then sold for profit. The price of crude zinc oxide, however, is directly correlated to their purity, as lower purity requires downstream factories to install additional purification technology [1, 2]. A case is presented in which the low quality of zinc oxide flakes produced make it difficult for a firm to justify its initial investment. To raise the value of its product, the firm requires an efficient manufacturing process to turn crude zinc oxide into high-purity zinc flakes. In this study, hydrometallurgy technology was used to transform zinc oxide into high-purity zinc flakes through a three-step process including leaching, purification and electrodialysis. Results show that zinc dissolution reaches its highest rate after 48 h of stirring in 7 N-NaOH as the leach agent with a solid–liquid ratio of 1:10 at room temperature. Using a strong alkaline as the leach agent can prevent the dissolution of iron oxide; however, the leach solution still contains a large amount of lead which must be removed to avoid degrading the purity of the electrodialyzed zinc powder. Using sheet zinc recycled from batteries as a displacement for purifying leach solution yielded a level of quality comparable to commercial zinc powder, but at a cost only 1/30 of that for the zinc powder process. This process also yielded high purity lead slag as a byproduct, which adds to its value. The purified leach solution is then electrolyzed into zinc flakes and the zinc powder manufactured from the above flakes achieves a purity as high as 99.1 % [3, 4, 5].


Electric arc furnace steel smelting EAF dust Crude zinc oxide Hydrometallurgy Zinc flakes 


  1. 1.
    Lo, H-R. (1998). Caustic extraction of zinc from electric arc furnace steel dust. Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, Kaohsiung.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Chen, W-S, Zhou, W-S., Wu, J-Y., Shen, Y-H, Cai, M-H. (2010). Steel smelting dust processing in Taiwan. Industrial Pollution Prevention.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Carrillo-Abad, J., Garcia-Gabaldon, M., Ortega, E., Perez-Herranz, V. (2011). Electrochemical recovery of zinc from the spent pickling baths coming from the hot dip galvanizing industry. Potentiostatic operation. Separation and Purification Technology, 81(2), 200–207.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wua,M., She, J-H., Nakano, Michio. (2001). An expert control system using neural networks for the electrolytic process in zinc hydrometallurgy. Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence, 14(5), 547–702.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Zheng, H., Gu, Z., Zheng, Y. (2007). Electrorefining zinc dross in ammoniacal ammonium chloride system. ScienceDirect.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chen, T-M. (1999). Recycling zinc from electric arc furnace dust through alkaline dissolution. School of Environmental Engineering, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Neipu.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Zhang, T-J., Wang C-F., Wang Y-R., Tu B-C., Wei Y-H., Qiu Y-Z. et al. (1995). Characteristics and recycling of steel smelting dust. Environmental Protection Agency, Executive Yuan, Development Program.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Zhao, Y., Stanforth, R. (2000). Technical note extraction of zinc from zinc ferrites by fusion with caustic soda. Minerals Engineering, 13(13), 1417–1421.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    You, Z-F., Chang, C-K., Tu, Y-R., Shen, M-L., Chen Q-Y. (2012). Recycling batteries through acid dissolution, chemical displacement, and ferrite program. Environmental Protection Agency, Executive Yuan, Development Program.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sing-Jhen Wu
    • 1
  • Jyun-Hong Huang
    • 1
  • Ah- Der Lin
    • 2
  • Chien-Kuei Chang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Materials EngineeringNational Kaohsiung University of Applied ScienceKaohsiungTaiwan, Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringCheng-Shiu UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan, Republic of China

Personalised recommendations