The suspension of copper droplets in the slag is considered. The copper/slug suspension is delivered as the product from the direct-toblister process which is applied in the KGHM – Polska Miedź (Polish Copper) S.A. factory. The droplets / slag suspension was treated by a special set of reagents (patented by the authors) to improve the coagulation process. On the other hand, the observations are made to estimate if the melting / reduction process in the furnace is sufficiently effective to avoid a remaining of carbon in the copper droplets. The coagulation process was carried out in the crucible (laboratory scale). However, conditions imposed to the coagulation / solidification process in the laboratory scale were to some extent similar to those applied usually in the industry when the suspension is subjected to the analogous treatment in the electric arc-furnace. Some suggestions are formulated how to improve the industrial direct-to-blister process.
The suspension of the copper droplets in the post-processing slag taken directly from the KGHM-Polska Miedź S.A. Factory (from the direct-to-blister technology as performed in the flash furnace) was subjected to the special treatment with the use of the one of the typical industrial reagent and with the complex reagent newly patented by the authors. This treatment was performed in the BOLMET S.A. Company in the semi-industrial conditions. The result of the CaCO3, and Na2CO3 chemicals influence on the coagulation and subsequent sedimentation of copper droplets on the crucible bottom were subjected to comparison with the sedimentation forced by the mentioned complex reagent. The industrial chemicals promoted the agglomeration of copper droplets but the coagulation was arrested / blocked by the formation of the lead envelope. Therefore, buoyancy force forced the motion of the partially coagulated copper droplets towards the liquid slag surface rather than sedimentation on the crucible bottom. On the other hand, the complex reagent was able to influence the mechanical equilibrium between copper droplets and some particles of the liquid slag as well as improve the slag viscosity. Finally, the copper droplets coagulated successfully and generally, were subjected to a settlement on the crucible bottom as desired / requested.
The copper droplets contained in the post-processing liquid slag are subjected to the treatment by the complex reagent. The complex reagent has been recently elaborated and patented in frame of the Grant No. PBS3/A5/45/2015. In particular, the complex reagent is dedicated to the post-processing slags coming from the Smelter and Refinery Plant, Głogów, as a product of the direct-to-blister technology performed in the flash furnace. The recently patented complex reagent effectively assists not only in agglomeration, and coagulation but also in the deposition of the copper droplets at the bottom of crucible / furnace as well. The treatment of the postprocessing slags by the complex reagent was performed in the BOLMET S.A. Company as in the industrial conditions which were similar to those usually applied in the KGHM – Polish Copper (Smelter and Refinery Plant, Głogów). The competition between buoyancy force and gravity is studied from the viewpoint of the required deposition of coagulated copper droplets. The applied complex reagent improves sufficiently the surface free energy of the copper droplets. In the result, the mechanical equilibrium between coagulated copper droplets and surrounding liquid slag is properly modified. Finally, sufficiently large copper droplets are subjected to a settlement on the crucible / furnace bottom according to the requirements.