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ArticleName Waelz process adopted by Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant to process copper plant dusts
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2020.05.06
ArticleAuthor Vyatkin V. N., Shumilin Yu. P., Bovykin K. V.

Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant PJSC, Chelyabinsk, Russia:

V. N. Vyatkin, Lead Process Engineer at the Engineering Centre, e-mail:
Yu. P. Shumilin, Lead Process Engineer at the Engineering Centre
K. V. Bovykin, Principal Process Engineer at the Operations Department


Processing of copper plant dusts helps tackle two very important problems. It enables to obtain additional zinc and dispose of metallurgical waste. This paper describes the chemical composition of the processed copper industry products, the current processing capacity, as well as the results achieved since the Waelz process was adopted. Since the Waelz process was adopted by the Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant to handle copper dusts generated by the production sites belonging to the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company, the processing capacity has risen since 2015 by 85% reaching 29 th t/y. The authors substantiate why fluxing agents should be added to the charge of a Waelz kiln designed to process copper industry zinc- and lead-containing dusts together with zinc cake. The paper describes the results achieved since the dust granulation process was adopted, which was implemented with intensive granulating mixers by Eirich. Processing of copper plant dusts by the Chelyabins k Zinc Plant helps tackle the following problems. It ensures comprehensive processing of a polymetallic man-made material while extracting non-ferrous metals, which are present in the material in considerable amounts; a selective extraction of zinc from a complex composition material into a hydrometallurgically processable concentrate; conversion of lead contained in the dusts into a hydrometallurgically processable concentrate, and the concentrate can then be converted into a carbonized lead cake containing more than 40% of the metal, which can be melted in lead kilns. An innovative technique belonging to the pyrometallurgical stage involves calcination of dusts in order to remove chlorine and fluorine compounds preventing zinc and lead from sublimation. The calcination process can be combined with a selective extraction of lead by sulphide sublimation. The paper describes the results of a pilot test, which resulted in the removal of 96.9% of chlorine, 86.2% of fluorine and 69.8% of lead from the dust. The technique of selective separation of zinc, lead and tin proves effective when the concentration of tin in the initial material (i.e. copper plant dusts) is relatively high — at least 2.5%.

keywords Waelz process, Waelz oxide, calcination, distillation, granulation, disposal, zinc, lead

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