Extraction of Non-ferrous Metals

Non-ferrous metals in the narrow sense are the collective term for all metals except iron, manganese and chromium. A broad sense of non-ferrous metals also includes non-ferrous alloys, which are alloys formed by adding one or more other elements to a non-ferrous metal as a matrix. The non-ferrous metal smelting process is usually divided into pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy and electrometallurgy.

1. Extractive metallurgy of Cobalt

Since the end of the last century, with the booming rise of lithium battery applications, the cobalt smelting industry and its related equipment industries have also become hot investment spots for aspirants. Especially in the past decade, with the continuous increase of cobalt smelting technology and production, the production equipment, environmental protection equipment, online testing equipment and online control technology, which are closely related to cobalt smelting have also been constantly innovating as needed.

There are many varieties of production equipment for extractive metallurgy of cobalt. In recent years, with the improvement of design and manufacturing technology, progress has been made to different degrees. Among them, the most prominent progress is extraction equipment, which is also the most critical "core equipment" in the hydrometallurgical process. Through the use of new intelligent equipment and its intelligent control technology, it can quickly respond to and eliminate the influence of a variety of unstable factors, which ensures efficient, safe, continuous and stable production. The intellectualization of the cobalt smelting industry is still in the initial stage of layout and design, but it must be an inevitable trend of the development of precise and agile control technology in the next few years!

2. Extractive metallurgy of nickel

Nickel ore is mainly divided into copper sulfide nickel ore and nickel oxide ore. The beneficiation and smelting process of the two are completely different: according to the grade of copper-nickel sulfide ore, different beneficiation methods are selected and then smelted; the smelting and enrichment methods of nickel oxide ore can be divided into two categories of pyrometallurgical process and hydrometallurgical process.

In general, the pyrometallurgical process has high energy consumption, poor comprehensive metal recovery effect, and the cost is equivalent to the cost of the hydrometallurgical process. It is a traditional process method.

Through the analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of hydrometallurgical and the pyrometallurgical process, it can be known that due to the low energy consumption, low pollution and high quality of the hydrometallurgical process, the current cost of the two methods is equivalent. So, the advantages and development trend of the hydrometallurgical process are gradually highlighted. As a result, the hydrometallurgical process is more valued, and the investment in its technology must be greater than that of the pyrometallurgical process. With the development of hydrometallurgical technology, equipment, and the expansion of scale, the cost of the hydrometallurgical process will gradually be lower than that of the pyrometallurgical process.

3. Extractive metallurgy of niobium

The metallic properties of niobium and tantalum are similar. They are both rare metals with high melting point and high boiling point, and they have steel gray color, rich in ductility and corrosion resistance. China is one of the countries in the world with relatively rich resources of rare metals such as niobium, tantalum, lithium, and beryllium. The total reserve of niobium (Nb2O5) is 3.88 million tons, second only to Brazil, which ranked second in the world.

Continuous innovation of tantalum and niobium smelting and processing technology, such as hydrometallurgical process - pulp extraction; pyrolysis - low acid extraction; offline analysis - online analysis and microcomputer monitoring; cold crystallization of potassium fluotantalate; production process of low fluorine Ta2O5 and Nb2O5 by continuous spray precipitation; the production of high purity Ta2O5, Nb2O5, etc. by peroxide precipitation.

Application of tantalum and niobium metal materials:

The applicable fields of new tantalum-niobium materials include electronics, precision ceramics and precision glass industries; electro-acoustic-optic devices; cemented carbide, aerospace and electronic energy industries; biomedical engineering; superconducting industry; special steel and other industries.

4. Extractive metallurgy of tin

The ore of tin is cassiterite (SnO2), and there is mountain tin that forms veins and sand tin that is accumulated from its outflow. The tin concentrate containing 40-70% of Sn can be obtained through beneficiation. Lead and tin are smelted by fire method, and lead concentrate must be roasted and sintered to become oxides. The tin concentrate is used directly. Both lead and tin are produced by reduction smelting.

1: In addition to SnO2, the pre-treated tin concentrate also contains WO3, S, Cu, Pb, Fe, etc. Therefore, these impurities should be removed as much as possible before smelting.

2: In ore smelting, tin is easy to enter the slag. Therefore, two-step reduction smelting is carried out.

3: Tin-rich slag smelting reduction smelting of slag from ore smelting by adding coke and limestone. The slag and hard ends (e.g. 46% Sn, 44% Fe) containing less than 1% Sn are produced.

4: Refining of coarse tin: Coarse tin is smelted at 500-800K in a small reverberatory furnace, and most of the iron and a part of copper, arsenic remain as hard heads.

5. Conclusion

The above is the relevant introduction about the smelting of non-ferrous metals cobalt, nickel, niobium and tin. Non-ferrous metals are the basic materials for the development of the national economy. Most industries such as aviation, aerospace, automobiles, machinery manufacturing, electric power, communications, construction, and home appliances are based on non-ferrous metal materials. With the development of the modern chemical industry, agriculture, as well as science and technology, non-ferrous metal smelting plays an increasingly important role in human development. It is believed that with the innovation of technology, non-ferrous metal smelting will also make new breakthroughs.

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