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Recovery of Flake Graphite From Steelmaking Kish
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  • Description:
    This report describes a processing method developed by the U.S. Bureau of Mines to produce high-quality flake graphite from the steelmaking waste known as kish. The kish produced by current steelmaking practices is a mixture of graphite, desulfurization slag, and iron that is skimmed from the molten iron feed to the basic oxygen furnace. It is estimated that the graphite content of kish discarded by U.S. steel plants is more than sufficient to meet the total U.S. demand for flake graphite. That need is now filled by natural graphite from foreign sources. Kish was treated by a combination of screening and hydraulic classification to produce a concentrate containing greater than 70 pct graphite. Leaching of the concentrate with hydrochloric acid solution gave a graphite product with 95-pct purity. An optional secondary leaching operation with hydrofluoric acid produced graphite with a purity of 98 pet or greater. The flake size of graphite from kish ranged from 10 mesh down. Evaluation of test samples by industrial graphite users indicated that kish graphite is a suitable substitute for the natural material for most uses. A process flowsheet and material balance for pilot plant design are presented.

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