Recovery of zinc from copper smelter slag by sulfuric acid leaching in an aqueous and alcoholic environment

Keywords: copper smelter slag, leaching, zinc recovery, isopropanol, n-pentanol


The content of zinc in copper smelter slags obtained from pyrometallurgical copper production is comparable to the content of this metal in zinc ores. Therefore, these slags are considered a valuable secondary resource for zinc recovery. At the same time, the features of the mineralogical composition of the slag make the extraction of zinc from it very problematic. Most of the zinc is concentrated in the refractory zinc ferrite (ZnFe2O4). To avoid the formation of a viscous pulp when leaching copper smelter slag with an aqueous solution of sulfuric acid, in this work, the slag was leached with sulfuric acid also in isopropanol and n-pentanol, under the following conditions: 0.5 M H2SO4, pulp density 50 g/L, magnetic stirrer rotation speed 600 rpm. The influence of the duration and temperature of leaching milled (≤100 μm) copper smelter slag of the Balkhash copper smelter on the extraction of zinc into solution was investigated. It was found that the maximum zinc recovery into an aqueous solution was 75 ± 2% at 363 K and 210 min. Replacing water with isopropanol or n-pentanol led to an increase in zinc recovery to 82 ± 2% at 210 min and a lower temperature (353 K) than in an aqueous environment. An increase in temperature to 383 K during leaching in n-pentanol made it possible to extract 92 ± 2% of zinc. A shrinking core model was used to describe the kinetics of the zinc leaching process. It was found that the limiting stage of the process under all investigated conditions is the chemical leaching reaction. Some kinetic characteristics of the leaching process were calculated, in particular, the apparent reaction rate constants, as well as the activation energy.


1 Tian H, Guo Z, Pan J, Zhu D, Yang C, Xue Y, Wang D (2021) Resour Conserv Recy 168:105366. Crossref

2 Phiri TC, Singh P, Nikoloski AN (2021) Miner Eng 172:107150. Crossref

3 Mikula K, Izydorczyk G, Skrzypczak D, Moustakas K, Witek-Krowiak A, Chojnacka K (2021) J Hazard Mater 403:123602. Crossref

4 Zhang S, Zhu N, Mao F, Zhang J, Huang X, Li F, Dang Z (2021) J Hazard Mater 402:123791. Crossref

5 Li YC, Zhuo SN, Peng B, Min XB, Liu H, Ke Y (2020) J Clean Prod 263:121468. Crossref

6 Wang Z, Zhao Z, Zhang L, Liu F, Peng B, Chai L, Liang Y (2019) J Hazard Mater 364:488-498. Crossref

7 Nadirov RK, Syzdykova LI, Zhussupova AK, Usserbaev MT (2013) Int J Miner Process 124:145-149. Crossref

8 Guo X, Zhang B, Wang Q, Li Z, Tian Q (2021) JOM-US 73 (6):1861-1870. Crossref

9 Nadirov RK (2019) T Indian I Metals 72(3):603-607. Crossref

10 Tümen F, Bailey NT (1990) Hydrometallurgy 25(3):317-328. Crossref

11 Altundoǧan H S, Tümen F (1997) Hydrometallurgy 44(1-2):261-267. Crossref

12 Lee JJ, Lin CI, Chen HK (2001) Metall Mater Trans B 32(6):033-1040. Crossref

13 Kazemi M, Sichen D (2016) J Sustain Met 2(1):73-78. Crossref

14 Wang Z, Liang Y, Peng N, Peng B (2019) J Therm Anal Calorim 136(5):2157-2164. Crossref

15 Junca E, Grillo FF, Restivo TAG, de Oliveira JR, Espinosa DCR, Tenório JAS (2017) J Therm Anal Calorim 129(2):1215-1223. Crossref

16 Chen Y, Wang Y, Peng N, Liang Y, Peng B (2020) T Nonferr Metal Soc 30(8):2274-2282. Crossref

17 Sarma VNR, Deo K, Biswas AK (1976) Hydrometallurgy 2(2):171-184. Crossref

18 Binnemans K, Jones PT (2017) J Sustain Met 3(3):570-600. Crossref

19 Li X, Monnens W, Li Z, Fransaer J, Binnemans K (2020) Green Chem 22(2):417-426. Crossref

20 Orefice M, Binnemans K (2021) Sep Purif Technol 258:117800. Crossref

21 Nadirov R, Turan MD, Karamyrzayev GA (2020) Int J Biol Chem 3(2):141-146. Crossref

22 Elgersma F, Kamst GF, Witkamp GJ, Van Rosmalen GM (1992) Hydrometallurgy 29(1-3):173-189. Crossref

23 Solís-Marcial OJ, Lapidus GT (2014) Electrochim Acta 140:434-437. Crossref

24 Girgin İ, Erkal F (1993) Hydrometallurgy 34(2):221-229. Crossref

25 Trifoni M, Toro L, Veglio F (2001) Hydrometallurgy 59(1):1-14. Crossref

26 Jana RK, Singh DDN, Roy SK (1995) Hydrometallurgy 38(3):289-298. Crossref

27 Marković Z, Tošović J, Milenković D, Marković S (2016) Comput Theor Chem 1077:11-17. Crossref
How to Cite
Turan, M. D., Karamyrzayev, G., & Nadirov, R. (2021). Recovery of zinc from copper smelter slag by sulfuric acid leaching in an aqueous and alcoholic environment. Chemical Bulletin of Kazakh National University, 103(4), 4-11.
Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry