Shaft Furnace Reduction-Oxidation Roasting of Pelletized Alunite Dust
Description:The Bureau of Mines investigated a promising new technology for recovering A1203 from alunite to support the Bureau's alumina miniplant project. Results are presented for a study of the technical feasibility of treating alunite crushing and grinding reject fines for recovery of A1203. Alunite pellets having sufficient strength and resistance to degradation were produced by combining fines and coarse alunite with a KOH binder. The best pellets were prepared, in a laboratory pelletizer, by adding 1 pct KOH as a 5-pct solution to a mixture of 40 pct alunite dust (98 pct minus 65 mesh) and 60 pct coarse alunite (minus 20 plus 65 mesh). Calcines suitable for K2SO4 and A1203 recovery were produced by reducing dehydrated alunite pellets with sulfur in a laboratory shaft furnace for 4 h at 600° C, followed by air oxidation of the reduced calcine for 1 h at 600° C. This report presents design calculations, schematic diagrams, and discussions of the essential features of a proposed process research unit (PRU)--a continuous, 6-lb/h alunite shaft furnace--for studying the process.
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