Alkaline leaching of zinc from argon oxygen decarbonization dust from stainless steel production
Anna Stefanova 1  
Jari Aromaa 1
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Aalto University
Anna Stefanova   

Aalto University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, PO Box 16200, FI-00076, Aalto, Finland
Publication date: 2013-01-01
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2013;49(1):37–46
Stainless steel production generates solid wastes such as dust and sludge that are considered as harmful in most industrial countries. Today dusts are recycled in separate treatment plants as these dusts contain valuable metals such as alloying elements. A direct recycling of dust back to steel production is hindered due to the presence of elements, especially zinc, that cause operational difficulties in the stain- less steel making process. In this paper two different stainless steel converter argon oxygen decarboniza- tion dusts (AOD1 and AOD2), from Outokumpu Stainless (Tornio, Finland), were leached using NaOH solutions. The purpose was to selectively leach zinc out from the dusts and to find factors that affected most dissolution of zinc. The dust samples were leached under atmospheric pressure and the factors tested were temperature, sodium hydroxide concentration, liquid to solid ratio (L/S), stirring rate and oxygen or nitrogen gas bubbling. All the studied factors had statistically significant effect on the dissolution of zinc. The maximum zinc extraction was achieved at 95°C, with 8M NaOH solution, stirring rate of 400 rpm and L/S ratio of 30 and was around 80% for AOD1 dust and around 50% for AOD2 dust. Difference in maximum zinc extraction arose from the mineralogical differences of the dusts. Zinc was leached selec- tively. Among alloying elements only molybdenum was leached and practically no iron, chromium and nickel were dissolved.