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Title: Novel Binders and Methods for Agglomeration of Ore

Abstract

Many metal extraction operations, such as leaching of copper, leaching of precious metals, and reduction of metal oxides to metal in high-temperature furnaces, require agglomeration of ore to ensure that reactive liquids or gases are evenly distributed throughout the ore being processed. Agglomeration of ore into coarse, porous masses achieves this even distribution of fluids by preventing fine particles from migrating and clogging the spaces and channels between the larger ore particles. Binders are critically necessary to produce agglomerates that will not break down during processing. However, for many important metal extraction processes there are no binders known that will work satisfactorily. Primary examples of this are copper heap leaching, where there are no binders that will work in the acidic environment encountered in this process, and advanced ironmaking processes, where binders must function satisfactorily over an extraordinarily large range of temperatures (from room temperature up to over 1200 C). As a result, operators of many facilities see a large loss of process efficiency due to their inability to take advantage of agglomeration. The large quantities of ore that must be handled in metal extraction processes also means that the binder must be inexpensive and useful at low dosages tomore » be economical. The acid-resistant binders and agglomeration procedures developed in this project will also be adapted for use in improving the energy efficiency and performance of a broad range of mineral agglomeration applications, particularly heap leaching and advanced primary ironmaking. This project has identified several acid-resistant binders and agglomeration procedures that can be used for improving the energy efficiency of heap leaching, by preventing the ''ponding'' and ''channeling'' effects that currently cause reduced recovery and extended leaching cycle times. Methods have also been developed for iron ore processing which are intended to improve the performance of pellet binders, and have directly saved energy by increasing filtration rates of the pelletization feed by as much as 23%.« less

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Michigan Technological Univ
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
902899
DOE Contract Number:
FC26-03NT41924
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; ORE PROCESSING; AGGLOMERATION; BINDERS; ENERGY EFFICIENCY; PERFORMANCE; PROGRESS REPORT; COPPER; LEACHING; PH VALUE

Citation Formats

S. K. Kawatra, T. C. Eisele, K. A. Lewandowski, and J. A. Gurtler. Novel Binders and Methods for Agglomeration of Ore. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.2172/902899.
S. K. Kawatra, T. C. Eisele, K. A. Lewandowski, & J. A. Gurtler. Novel Binders and Methods for Agglomeration of Ore. United States. doi:10.2172/902899.
S. K. Kawatra, T. C. Eisele, K. A. Lewandowski, and J. A. Gurtler. Sun . "Novel Binders and Methods for Agglomeration of Ore". United States. doi:10.2172/902899. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/902899.
@article{osti_902899,
title = {Novel Binders and Methods for Agglomeration of Ore},
author = {S. K. Kawatra and T. C. Eisele and K. A. Lewandowski and J. A. Gurtler},
abstractNote = {Many metal extraction operations, such as leaching of copper, leaching of precious metals, and reduction of metal oxides to metal in high-temperature furnaces, require agglomeration of ore to ensure that reactive liquids or gases are evenly distributed throughout the ore being processed. Agglomeration of ore into coarse, porous masses achieves this even distribution of fluids by preventing fine particles from migrating and clogging the spaces and channels between the larger ore particles. Binders are critically necessary to produce agglomerates that will not break down during processing. However, for many important metal extraction processes there are no binders known that will work satisfactorily. Primary examples of this are copper heap leaching, where there are no binders that will work in the acidic environment encountered in this process, and advanced ironmaking processes, where binders must function satisfactorily over an extraordinarily large range of temperatures (from room temperature up to over 1200 C). As a result, operators of many facilities see a large loss of process efficiency due to their inability to take advantage of agglomeration. The large quantities of ore that must be handled in metal extraction processes also means that the binder must be inexpensive and useful at low dosages to be economical. The acid-resistant binders and agglomeration procedures developed in this project will also be adapted for use in improving the energy efficiency and performance of a broad range of mineral agglomeration applications, particularly heap leaching and advanced primary ironmaking. This project has identified several acid-resistant binders and agglomeration procedures that can be used for improving the energy efficiency of heap leaching, by preventing the ''ponding'' and ''channeling'' effects that currently cause reduced recovery and extended leaching cycle times. Methods have also been developed for iron ore processing which are intended to improve the performance of pellet binders, and have directly saved energy by increasing filtration rates of the pelletization feed by as much as 23%.},
doi = {10.2172/902899},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Sun Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

Technical Report:

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  • Many metal extraction operations, such as leaching of copper, leaching of precious metals, and reduction of metal oxides to metal in high-temperature furnaces, require agglomeration of ore to ensure that reactive liquids or gases are evenly distributed throughout the ore being processed. Agglomeration of ore into coarse, porous masses achieves this even distribution of fluids by preventing fine particles from migrating and clogging the spaces and channels between the larger ore particles. Binders are critically necessary to produce agglomerates that will not break down during processing. However, for many important metal extraction processes there are no binders known that willmore » work satisfactorily. Primary examples of this are copper heap leaching, where there are no binders that will work in the acidic environment encountered in this process, and advanced ironmaking processes, where binders must function satisfactorily over an extraordinarily large range of temperatures (from room temperature up to over 1200 C). As a result, operators of many facilities see a large loss of process efficiency due to their inability to take advantage of agglomeration. The large quantities of ore that must be handled in metal extraction processes also means that the binder must be inexpensive and useful at low dosages to be economical. The acid-resistant binders and agglomeration procedures developed in this project will also be adapted for use in improving the energy efficiency and performance of a broad range of mineral agglomeration applications, particularly heap leaching and advanced primary ironmaking.« less
  • Many metal extraction operations, such as leaching of copper, leaching of precious metals, and reduction of metal oxides to metal in high-temperature furnaces, require agglomeration of ore to ensure that reactive liquids or gases are evenly distributed throughout the ore being processed. Agglomeration of ore into coarse, porous masses achieves this even distribution of fluids by preventing fine particles from migrating and clogging the spaces and channels between the larger ore particles. Binders are critically necessary to produce agglomerates that will not breakdown during processing. However, for many important metal extraction processes there are no binders known that will workmore » satisfactorily. Primary examples of this are copper heap leaching, where there are no binders that will work in the acidic environment encountered in this process. As a result, operators of many facilities see large loss of process efficiency due to their inability to take advantage of agglomeration. The large quantities of ore that must be handled in metal extraction processes also means that the binder must be inexpensive and useful at low dosages to be economical. The acid-resistant binders and agglomeration procedures developed in this project will also be adapted for use in improving the energy efficiency and performance of a broad range of mineral agglomeration applications, particularly heap leaching.« less
  • Heap leaching is one of the methods being used to recover metal from low grade ore deposits. The main problem faced during heap leaching is the migration of fine grained particles through the heap, forming impermeable beds which result in poor solution flow. The poor solution flow leads to less contact between the leach solution and the ore, resulting in low recovery rates. Agglomeration of ore into coarse, porous masses prevents fine particles from migrating and clogging the spaces and channels between the larger ore particles. Currently, there is one facility in the United States which uses agglomeration. This operationmore » agglomerates their ore using leach solution (raffinate), but is still experiencing undesirable metal recovery from the heaps due to agglomerate breakdown. The use of a binder, in addition to the leach solution, during agglomeration would help to produce stronger agglomerates that did not break down during processing. However, there are no known binders that will work satisfactorily in the acidic environment of a heap, at a reasonable cost. As a result, operators of many facilities see a large loss of process efficiency due to their inability to take advantage of agglomeration. Increasing copper recovery in heap leaching by the use of binders and agglomeration would result in a significant decrease in the amount of energy consumed. Assuming that 70% of all the leaching heaps would convert to using agglomeration technology, as much as 1.64*10{sup 12} BTU per year would be able to be saved if a 25% increase in copper recovery was experienced, which is equivalent to saving approximately 18% of the energy currently being used in leaching heaps. For every week a leach cycle was decreased, a savings of as much as 1.23*10{sup 11} BTU per week would result. This project has identified several acid-resistant binders and agglomeration procedures. These binders and experimental procedures will be able to be used for use in improving the energy efficiency of heap leaching.« less
  • Many metal extraction operations, such as leaching of copper, leaching of precious metals, and reduction of metal oxides to metal in high-temperature furnaces, require agglomeration of ore to ensure that reactive liquids or gases are evenly distributed throughout the ore being processed. Agglomeration of ore into coarse, porous masses achieves this even distribution of fluids by preventing fine particles from migrating and clogging the spaces and channels between the larger ore particles. Binders are critically necessary to produce agglomerates that will not break down during processing. However, for many important metal extraction processes there are no binders known that willmore » work satisfactorily. A primary example of this is copper heap leaching, where there are no binders that will work in the acidic environment encountered in this process. As a result, operators of acidic heap-leach facilities see a large loss of process efficiency due to their inability to take advantage of agglomeration. The large quantities of ore that must be handled in metal extraction processes also means that the binder must be inexpensive and useful at low dosages to be economical. The acid-resistant binders and agglomeration procedures developed in this project will also be adapted for use in improving the energy efficiency and performance of other agglomeration applications, particularly advanced primary ironmaking.« less
  • Many metal extraction operations, such as leaching of copper, leaching of precious metals, and reduction of metal oxides to metal in high-temperature furnaces, require agglomeration of ore to ensure that reactive liquids or gases are evenly distributed throughout the ore being processed. Agglomeration of ore into coarse, porous masses achieves this even distribution of fluids by preventing fine particles from migrating and clogging the spaces and channels between the larger ore particles. Binders are critically necessary to produce agglomerates that will not break down during processing. However, for many important metal extraction processes there are no binders known that willmore » work satisfactorily at a reasonable cost. A primary example of this is copper heap leaching, where there are no binders currently encountered in this acidic environment process. As a result, operators of many facilities see a large loss of process efficiency due to their inability to take advantage of agglomeration. The large quantities of ore that must be handled in metal extraction processes also means that the binder must be inexpensive and useful at low dosages to be economical. The acid-resistant binders and agglomeration procedures developed in this project will also be adapted for use in improving the energy efficiency and performance of a broad range of mineral agglomeration applications, particularly heap leaching. The active involvement of our industrial partners will help to ensure rapid commercialization of any agglomeration technologies developed by this project.« less