Flash smelting (Finnish : Liekkisulatus, literally "flame-smelting") is a smelting process for sulfur-containing ores including chalcopyrite. The process was developed by Outokumpu in Finland and first applied at the Harjavalta plant in 1949 for smelting copper ore. It has also been adapted for nickel and lead production.
A second flash smelting system was developed by the International Nickel Company ('INCO') and has a different concentrate feed design compared to the Outokumpu flash furnace.The Inco flash furnace has end-wall concentrate injection burners and a central waste gas off-take, while the Outokumpu flash furnace has a water-cooled reaction shaft at one end of the vessel and a waste gas off-take at the other end. While the INCO flash furnace at Sudbury was the first commercial use of oxygen flash smelting, fewer smelters use the INCO flash furnace than the Outokumpu flash furnace.
Flash smelting with oxygen-enriched air (the 'reaction gas') makes use of the energy contained in the concentrate to supply most of the energy required by the furnaces. °C.The concentrate must be dried before it is injected into the furnaces and, in the case of the Outokumpu process, some of the furnaces use an optional heater to warm the reaction gas typically to 100–450
The reactions in the flash smelting furnaces produce copper matte, iron oxides and sulfur dioxide. The reacted particles fall into a bath at the bottom of the furnace, where the iron oxides react with fluxes, such as silica and limestone, to form a slag.
In most cases, the slag can be discarded, perhaps after some cleaning, and the matte is further treated in converters to produce blister copper. In some cases where the flash furnaces are fed with concentrate containing a sufficiently high copper content, the concentrate is converted directly to blister in a single Outokumpu furnaceand further converting is unnecessary.
The sulfur dioxide produced by flash smelting is typically captured in a sulfuric acid plant, removing the major environmental effect of smelting.
Outotec, formerly the technology division of Outokumpu, now holds Outokumpu's patents to the technology and licenses it worldwide.
INCO was acquired by Brazil's Vale in 2006.[ citation needed ]
Smelting is a process of applying heat to ore in order to extract a base metal. It is a form of extractive metallurgy. It is used to extract many metals from their ores, including silver, iron, copper, and other base metals. Smelting uses heat and a chemical reducing agent to decompose the ore, driving off other elements as gases or slag and leaving the metal base behind. The reducing agent is commonly a fossil fuel source of carbon, such as coke—or, in earlier times, charcoal. The oxygen in the ore binds to carbon at high temperatures due to the lower potential energy of the bonds in carbon dioxide. Smelting most prominently takes place in a blast furnace to produce pig iron, which is converted into steel.
Slag is the glass-like by-product left over after a desired metal has been separated from its raw ore. Slag is usually a mixture of metal oxides and silicon dioxide. However, slags can contain metal sulfides and elemental metals. While slags are generally used to remove waste in metal smelting, they can also serve other purposes, such as assisting in the temperature control of the smelting, and minimizing any re-oxidation of the final liquid metal product before the molten metal is removed from the furnace and used to make solid metal. In some smelting processes, such as ilmenite smelting to produce titanium dioxide, the slag is the valuable product instead of the metal.
A blast furnace is a type of metallurgical furnace used for smelting to produce industrial metals, generally pig iron, but also others such as lead or copper. Blast refers to the combustion air being "forced" or supplied above atmospheric pressure.
A metallurgical method employed in the purification of copper which contains copper oxide as an impurity and also in the purification of tin which contains tin oxide (stannic oxide or "SnO2") as an impurity. The impure metal, usually in the form of molten blister copper, is placed in an anode furnace for two stages of refining. In the first stage, sulphur and iron are removed by gently blowing air through the molten metal to form iron oxides and sulfur dioxide. The iron oxides are skimmed or poured off the top of the copper and the gaseous sulfur dioxide exits the furnace via the off-gas system. Once the first oxidation stage is complete, the second stage (reduction or poling) begins. This involves using a reducing agent, normally natural gas or diesel (but ammonia, liquid petroleum gas, and naphtha can also be used), to react with the oxygen in the copper oxide to form copper. In the past, freshly cut ("green") trees were used as wooden poles. The sap in these poles acted as the reducing agent. The heat of the copper makes the pole emit wood gas(CO2 and H2) that reduces the cuprous oxide to copper.
Industrial processes are procedures involving chemical, physical, electrical or mechanical steps to aid in the manufacturing of an item or items, usually carried out on a very large scale. Industrial processes are the key components of heavy industry.
Copper extraction refers to the methods used to obtain copper from its ores. The conversion of copper consists of a series of physical and electrochemical processes. Methods have evolved and vary with country depending on the ore source, local environmental regulations, and other factors.
Calcination refers to heating a solid to high temperatures in absence of air or oxygen, generally for the purpose of removing impurities or volatile substances. However, calcination is also used to mean a thermal treatment process in the absence or limited supply of air or oxygen applied to ores and other solid materials to bring about a thermal decomposition. The root of the word calcination refers to its most prominent use, which is to remove carbon from limestone through combustion to yield calcium oxide (quicklime). This calcination reaction is CaCO3(s) → CaO(s) + CO2(g). Calcium oxide is a crucial ingredient in modern cement, and is also used as a chemical flux in smelting. Industrial calcination generally emits carbon dioxide (CO
2), making it a major contributor to climate change.
Pyrometallurgy is a branch of extractive metallurgy. It consists of the thermal treatment of minerals and metallurgical ores and concentrates to bring about physical and chemical transformations in the materials to enable recovery of valuable metals. Pyrometallurgical treatment may produce products able to be sold such as pure metals, or intermediate compounds or alloys, suitable as feed for further processing. Examples of elements extracted by pyrometallurgical processes include the oxides of less reactive elements like iron, copper, zinc, chromium, tin, and manganese.
Kennecott Utah Copper LLC’s Garfield Smelter Stack is a 1,215 feet (370 m) high smokestack west of Magna, Utah, alongside Interstate 80 near the Great Salt Lake. It was built to disperse exhaust gases from the Kennecott Utah Copper smelter at Garfield, Utah.
Roasting is a process of heating of sulphide ore to a high temperature in presence of air. It is a step of the processing of certain ores. More specifically, roasting is a metallurgical process involving gas–solid reactions at elevated temperatures with the goal of purifying the metal component(s). Often before roasting, the ore has already been partially purified, e.g. by froth flotation. The concentrate is mixed with other materials to facilitate the process. The technology is useful but is also a serious source of air pollution.
Mount Isa Mines Limited ("MIM") operates the Mount Isa copper, lead, zinc and silver mines near Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia as part of the Glencore group of companies. For a brief period in 1980, MIM was Australia's largest company. It has pioneered several significant mining industry innovations, including the Isa Process copper refining technology, the Isasmelt smelting technology, and the IsaMill fine grinding technology, and it also commercialized the Jameson Cell column flotation technology.
Deoxidization is a method used in metallurgy to remove the oxygen content during steel manufacturing. In contrast, antioxidants are used for stabilization, such as in the storage of food. Deoxidation is important in the steelmaking process as oxygen is often detrimental to the quality of steel produced. Deoxidization is mainly achieved by adding a separate chemical species to neutralize the effects of oxygen or by directly removing the oxygen.
Zinc smelting is the process of converting zinc concentrates into pure zinc. Zinc smelting has historically been more difficult than the smelting of other metals, e.g. iron, because in contrast, zinc has a low boiling point. At temperatures typically used for smelting metals, zinc is a gas that will escape from a furnace with the flue gas and be lost, unless specific measures are taken to prevent it.
Ancient iron production refers to iron working in times from prehistory to the early Middle Ages where knowledge of production processes is derived from archaeological investigation. Slag, the byproduct of iron-working processes such as smelting or smithing, is left at the iron-working site rather than being moved away with the product. It also weathers well and hence it is readily available for study. The size, shape, chemical composition and microstructure of slag are determined by features of the iron-working processes used at the time of its formation.
Cobalt extraction refers to the techniques used to extract cobalt from its ores and other compound ores. Several methods exist for the separation of cobalt from copper and nickel. They depend on the concentration of cobalt and the exact composition of the used ore.
Mopani Copper Mines PLC ("Mopani") is a Zambian registered company owned by Carlisa Investments Corporation and ZCCM-IH (10%). Minority shareholders are spread throughout the world, in various locations.
Plants for the production of lead are generally referred to as lead smelters. Primary lead production begins with sintering. Concentrated lead ore is fed into a sintering machine with iron, silica, limestone fluxes, coke, soda ash, pyrite, zinc, caustics or pollution control particulates. Smelting uses suitable reducing substances that will combine with those oxidizing elements to free the metal. Reduction is the final, high-temperature step in smelting. It is here that the oxide becomes the elemental metal. A reducing environment pulls the final oxygen atoms from the raw metal.
The ISASMELT process is an energy-efficient smelting process that was jointly developed from the 1970s to the 1990s by Mount Isa Mines Limited and the Australian government’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation ("CSIRO"). It has relatively low capital and operating costs for a smelting process.
The Bottom-blown Oxygen Converter or BBOC is a smelting furnace developed by the staff at Britannia Refined Metals Limited (“BRM”), a British subsidiary of MIM Holdings Limited. The furnace is currently marketed by Glencore Technology. It is a sealed, flat-bottomed furnace mounted on a tilting frame that is used in the recovery of precious metals. A key feature is the use of a shrouded lance to inject oxygen through the bottom of the furnace, directly into the precious metals contained in the furnace, to oxidize base metals or other impurities as part of their removal as slag.
The Manhès–David process is a refining process of the copper mattes, invented in 1880 by the French industrialist Pierre Manhès and his engineer Paul David. Inspired by the Bessemer process, it consists of the use of a converter to oxidise with air the undesirable chemical elements contained in the matte, to transform it into copper.