Effect of Sulfuric Acid Concentration on Chalcopyrite Concentrate Chemical Leaching


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This study reports the effect of sulfuric acid concentration on chalcopyrite chemical leaching in very simple H2SO4 solution systems ranging from 23g/L to 30g/L, with 2.5% chalcopyrite concentrate at 30°C. Copper extraction from chalcopyrite increases with an increase in sulfuric acid concentration, e.g. 86%, 90% and 92% after 96 days at 23g/L, 25/L and 27g/L H2SO4 solution respectively. Sulfur element formed on the surface of chalcopyrite was very porous as the result of an electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA). Copper extraction, however, leveled out at 35% after 20 days when the sulfuric acid concentration was higher than 28g/L on 25g/L of chalcopyrite concentrate. Sulfur element was detected by X-ray analysis as only a leaching reaction product. The passivation may be caused by thick elemental surface formed on the surface of chalcopyrite.



Advanced Materials Research (Volumes 71-73)

Edited by:

Edgardo R. Donati, Marisa R. Viera, Eduardo L. Tavani, María A. Giaveno, Teresa L. Lavalle, Patricia A. Chiacchiarini




S. J. Joe et al., "Effect of Sulfuric Acid Concentration on Chalcopyrite Concentrate Chemical Leaching", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 71-73, pp. 353-356, 2009

Online since:

May 2009




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40 80 120.

[50] 100 Cu Released [%].

[30] o C 28g/L 29g/L 30g/L (a).

40 80 120.

[2] [4] [6] Iron ion [g/L] open: total closed: ferrous (b).

40 80 120 400 450.

[1] [2] E vs Ag/AgCl[mV] (c) Time [days] pH open: ORP closed: pH Fig. 3. Changes in copper extraction (a), iron ion extraction (b), ORP (c) and pH values (d) on H2SO4 solution ranging from 28g/L to 30g/L.