In partnership with Umicore-Belgium, we’re developing new experimental techniques for studying the kinetics of the reduction reaction of slag by coke, as well as studying the reduction of lead blast furnace slag using alternative carbon sources.
The lead blast furnace smelting process is used to produce lead and is also part of a process route for recycling electronic waste through integrated copper-lead smelting. In the lead blast furnace, slag is reduced using coke, but the detailed mechanism of the reduction reaction is not fully understood. Our research is tracking the phase formation at the interfaces and microstructure evolution during the reaction to provide a detailed reaction mechanism.
Our research is also analysing the reduction of lead blast furnace slag using alternative carbon sources such as those from urban ores (electronic waste or waste printed circuit boards. We will specifically examine the reduction reaction mechanism of lead slag by waste printed circuit boards and other alternative carbon sources and compare them with reduction with metallurgical coke. We’re also measuring the partitioning of the valuable metals between the lead, the slag and the gaseous phase at relevant conditions.