Analysis of copper losses throughout weak acid effluent flows generated during off-gas treatment in the New Copper Smelter RTB Bor

  • Dragana Ivšić-Bajčeta
  • Željko Kamberović
  • Jelena Rogan
  • Milorad Ćirković
  • Toplica Pavlović
Keywords: Copper smelter, off-gas treatment, arsenic, lead


The previous inadequate treatment of off-gas in RTB Bor in Serbia has resulted in serious pollution of the environment and the possibly high losses of copper through the effluent flows. The project of New Copper Smelter RTB Bor, besides the new flash smelting furnace (FSF) and the reconstruction of Pierce-Smith converter (PSC), includes more effective effluent treatment. Paper presents an analysis of the new FSF and PSC off-gas treatment, determination of copper losses throughout generated wastewaters and discussion of its possible valorization. Assumptions about the solubility of metals phases present in the FSF and PSC off-gas, obtained by the treatment process simulation, were compared with the leaching results of flue dusts. Determined wastewaters characteristics indicate that the PSC flow is significantly richer in copper, mostly present in insoluble metallic/sulfide form, while the FSF flow has low concentration of copper in the form of completely soluble oxide/sulfate. The possible scenario for the copper valorization, considering arsenic and lead as limiting factors, is the separation of the FSF and PSC flows, return of the metallic/sulfide solid phase to the smelting process and recovery from the sulfate/oxide liquid phase.
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