Sulfides formation in carbothermic reduction of saprolitic nickel laterite ore using low-rank coals and additives: A thermodynamic simulation analysis

Sri Harjanto, M. Akbar Rhamdhani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, a systematic thermodynamic analysis of carbothermic reduction of saprolitic nickel laterite ore was carried out. Different carbon sources—such as pure C, sub‐bituminous, and lignite—were used for the carbothermic reduction at 1000 °C (1273 K). The effect of the different additives—such as S, FeS, Na2S, Na2SO4, and CaSO4—was also systematically evaluated. The thermodynamic calculations suggested that the use of low rank coals (sub-bituminous and lignite) do not significantly affect the nickel grade and nickel recovery, but affect the total metals recovery. The presence of S in these C-sources promoted the formation of sulfides. At 1000 °C (1273 K), only a small amount of C-sources (C, sub-bituminous, lignite) are needed to significantly metallize the nickel in the laterite, i.e., between 4–6 wt %. The additives S, FeS, Na2S, Na2SO4, and CaSO4 were predicted to promote the formation of liquid sulfides, and at the same time reduce the formation of the (Fe,Ni) alloy, thus reducing the nickel and total metals recovery. Therefore, consideration is needed to balance the two aspects. The calculations predicted that S, Na2SO4, and CaSO4 additions provided an increase in the nickel grade; while FeS and Na2S reduced the nickel grade.

Original languageEnglish
Article number631
JournalMinerals
Volume9
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Carbothermic reduction
  • CaSO4 addition
  • FeS addition
  • Lignite
  • Na2S addition
  • Na2SO4 addition
  • S addition
  • Saprolitic nickeliferous
  • Sub-bituminous

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