Usage of boron compounds in copper production

Rüşen, Aydın
Copper losses to slag are generally between 0.7-2.3% during the copper matte smelting stage. In this study, the aim was to reduce these losses in the slag phase. For this purpose, usage of some additives (especially calcined colemanite labeled as CC, boric oxide-B2O3 and calcium oxide-CaO as well) as flux material was investigated. The flash furnace matte-slag (FFM-FFS) obtained from Eti Copper Inc. and a master matte-slag (MM-MS) produced synthetically were used as starting materials. Additives were tested in various amounts under two different atmospheres (N2 and low Po2 obtained by mixture of CO2/CO gases). Temperature and duration were also used as experimental variables. Experimental results have indicated that 2 hours was sufficient to obtain a low copper content in slag about 0.3% and 0.4% for FFS and MS, respectively. It was also seen that the copper content in slag decreased with increasing CC addition at all oxygen partial pressures and at all temperatures. Furthermore, the addition of all additives up to 4% had great influence in lowering the copper content in the final slags (~0.3%Cu). From FactSage calculations, it could be concluded that the colemanite addition decreased the liquidus temperature which led to early melting of slag and allowed enough duration for settling of matte particles within the slag without substantial changing its viscosity, which resulted in less mechanical copper losses to the slag. By using colemanite in copper production, it was possible that a new application area for boron compounds which are produced in Turkey could be created


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Citation Formats
A. Rüşen, “Usage of boron compounds in copper production,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2013.