Copper smelting methods can be divided into two categories: pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy. More than 85% of the world's refined copper output is recovered from pyrophyllite concentrates and recycled copper by pyrometallurgical process, and the refined copper produced by hydrometallurgy only accounts for about 15%.
There are many ways to fire pyrometallurgical copper, mainly include: blast furnace smelting, reflex furnace smelting, flash smelting, electric smelting. From the copper smelting process flow chart shows: copper sulfide concentrate (copper content of 13% -30%) can be used several different metallurgical methods for smelting, get matte, and then after the converter blowing copper containing more than 97.5% of blister copper, blister copper quality still can not meet the requirements of industrial copper, refined copper obtained after refining requirements of more than 99.95% copper. Sulfide copper concentrate in the smelting process can also be recovered sulfur, gold, silver, antimony, nickel, selenium and other valuable elements
In China, copper metal is extracted from copper concentrates mainly by the pyrometallurgical method. The more advanced one is flash smelting, whose output accounts for over 30% of the total copper produced in the country. Due to low energy consumption, large-scale, can effectively control the advantages of environmental pollution. This smelting technology is being developed in the copper industry. Flash smelting furnace according to different working principle can be divided into two types: Outokumpu flash melting, InCo flash melting. The following describes Outokumpu smelting process.
Hydrometallurgy is in many cases compatible with the fire method. The main chemical reaction of the process is carried out in aqueous solution. Copper (zinc) minerals pre-oxidation or Sulfuric Acid
roasting, the transformation of soluble state, and then leaching, purification of electrowinning to extract Electrolytic Copper
. Usually RLE method, atmospheric ammonia leaching method (Abit method), high-pressure ammonia leaching method, such as bacterial leaching. From roasting → leaching → purification → electricity, referred to as RLE method. Its production process, hydrometallurgy is mainly suitable for extraction of metallic copper from low-grade oxide ore, waste mines and flotation tailings.
Use of electrolytic copper
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