Sustainable development in the tinplate industry: refining tinplate leachate with cementation
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Technical University of Košice, Faculty of Materials, Metallurgy and Recycling
Publication date: 2019-12-13
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Dusan Orac   

Technical University of Košice, Faculty of Materials, Metallurgy and Recycling
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2020;56(1):219-227
Tin sludge produced during tin electroplating of steel sheet is an interesting secondary source of tin. Dried sludge usually contains more than 50% tin. Hydrometallurgical sludge treatment consists of several steps, including leaching in hydrochloric acid and electrolytic recovery of tin. The electrowinning process is negatively affected by the presence of impurities such as antimony and bismuth, which can cut overall current efficiency to 11% as well as reducing the quality of recovered tin. It is appropriate therefore to remove these impurities from the leachate before the electrowinning steps. This work studies the refining of leachate using cementation. The experiments were carried out at temperatures of 20, 40 and 60 °C at solid to liquid ratios of 1:60, 2:60, 3:60 and 4:60 using tin and iron dust as cementing metals. The leachates were mixed at a constant rate of 400 rpm during all cementation experiments. Effective removal of impurities was achieved in the case of iron powder cementation at s/l ratio 2:60 and temperature 20 °C. This cementation removed 98.49% bismuth and 99.14% antimony from the leachate solution. Electrolysis efficiency was increased from 11 to 71% after leachate refining. Antimony and bismuth were not detected in the final product obtained from refined electrolyte by means of electrolysis.
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