This study presents the results of chemical thermodynamic analysis on the distribution of elements in the smelting process of metallic materials to examine the controllability of impurities in the pyrometallurgical technique. The results of the present work can give an answer against the frequently given question; "Which impurity element can be removable in metallurgical process?" or "How far can the impurity level be controlled?". The proposed method was applied to estimate the distribution of 29 elements for a copper converter and 26 elements for a steel-making process and shows the distribution tendency of elements among the gas, slag, and metal phases as well as clarifying which metals can be recovered or removed from secondary resources in metallurgical processes. The effects of temperature, oxygen partial pressure, and slag composition on the distribution ratio of elements were also evaluated, and the removal limit or controllability of impurity in these two processes was presented. This study results in thermodynamic features of various elements in the pyrometallurgical process and also shows, even by varying process parameters such as temperature and oxygen partial pressure, no drastic improvement of removal efficiency should be expected, except for lead and tin in copper.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry