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Recovery of Metal Values From Copper Converter Flue Dust
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  • Description:
    Effective recycling or disposal of flue dusts is a continuing problem for copper, brass, and bronze smelters. Over 300,000 short tons (st) of dust is generated annually by U.S. secondary copper, brass, and bronze smelters. The Bureau of Mines has developed an alkaline leach method for recovering metal values from copper converter flue dust containing zinc, tin, lead, and copper. The dust was leached with a hot solution of ammonium chloride and ammonium hydroxide to solubilize ZnO. All of the tin (as Sn02) and the metallic copper, lead, and zinc, as well as possible insoluble compounds of each, report to the residue. Dissolved copper and lead salts are removed from the leachate by cementation with granular zinc. Zinc oxide is precipitated by diluting the leachate with water. The tin-rich (9.8 pct) residue has a ready market. The cement product is recyclable to the smelting operation. The ZnO is at least 97 pct pure and has potential marketability.

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