Soda Ash Roasting of Antimony & Arsenic Gold Concentrate

Soda Ash Roasting of Antimony & Arsenic Gold Concentrate

The ability to process complex precious metal sulfide concentrates containing antimony and arsenic, in an economic and environmentally safe manner, is an important problem facing the mining industry in the United States. Preliminary experiments have been performed to evaluate the possibility of treating a complex sulfide concentrate to recover antimony and precious metals while fixing the arsenic and sulfur as calcium arsenate and calcium sulfate.

The proposed process is shown schematically in Figure 1 and involves an adaptation of previously known technology. The roast step is performed with sodium carbonate in order to trap the fugitive sulfur dioxide, antimony and arsenic. As all of the furnace gas, dust and residue pass through a caustic water solution; the arsenic, antimony and sulfur should be completely contained.

Roasting:

Sb2S3(s) + 7O2(g) + 3Na2C03(s) = Sb2O5(s) + 3Na2SO4(s) + 3CO2(g)…………………………………………(1)

2FeAsS(s) + 8O2(g) + 2Na2C03(s) = Fe2O3(s) + As2O5(s) + 2Na2SO4(s) + 2CO2(g)……………………..(2)

Arsenic Leaching:

As2O5(S) + 6NaOH(aq) = 2Na3AsO4(aq) + 3H2O(aq)………………………………………………………………(3)

Na2SO4(s) = Na2SO4(aq)……………………………………………………………………(4)

Arsenic and Sulfate Precipitation:

2Na3AsO4(aq) + 3CaCl2(s) = Ca3(AsO4)2(s) + 6NaCl(aq)…………………………………………….(5)

Na2SO4(aq) + CaCl2(s) = CaSO4(s) + 2NaCl(aq)…………………………………………………(6)

Antimony Reduction:

Sb2O5(s) + 5CO(g) – 2Sb(s) + 5CO2(g)……………………………………………………..(7)

C(s) + CO2(g) = 2CO(g)…………………………………………………………………………..(8)

Antimony Oxide Production:

Sb(l) = Sb(g)…………………………………………………………………………………..(9)

4Sb(g) + 3O2(g) = 2Sb2O3(s)………………………………………………………….(10)

If the chemical reactions proceed as proposed, then the stochiometric requirements of reagents would be as follows (Table 1.):

soda-ash-roasting-stochiometric-requirements

The disposal of the calcium arsenate and calcium sulfate may be possible in a tailings pond environment (in certain locations). Alternative disposal methods would involve disposal at an approved site or treatment of the residue to produce a marketable arsenic product.

The presence of chloride ions, through recycle, in the arsenic leach stage may lead to the solubility of some of the antimony as antimony oxychloride.

It is possible that both sodium arsenate and sodium antimonate will be formed during the roasting operation. This would not be a problem in the leaching step, as the sodium arsenate is desired and the sodium antimonate is insoluble. Sodium antimonate may be a problem during the reduction step due to the formation of a sodium oxide slag, which is very corrosive and will require the addition of more fluxing agents to counteract the basic nature of the sodium oxide.

Experimental Procedures

The roasting experimental system is shown schematically in Figure 2. The reactor system consists of a tube furnace, temperature controller, gas flow system, ice condenser trap, and hydrogen peroxide-water absorption system. The air flow rate to the furnace was controlled in order to control the oxidation reaction, which is highly exothermic.

Experimental Results

Preliminary experiments were performed using hydrated lime, caustic soda and soda ash to compare the relative abilities to retain the sulfur in the roast calcines. The results are given in Table 2.:

soda-ash-roasting-sulfur-refined

Sb2S3(s) + 4NaOH(s) = Na2SbS3(s) + NaSbO2(s) + 2H2O(g)…………………………………….(11)

4Sb2S3(s) + 3Na2CO3(s) = Sb2O3(s) + 6NaSbS3(s) + 3CO2(g)…………………………………………….(12)

Sb2S3(s) + 2Na2CO3(s) = Na3SbS3(s) + NaSbO2(s) + 2 CO2(g)…………………………………………..(13)

 

soda-ash-roasting-effect-of-temperature

Stibnite roasting, without soda ash, in air was performed and the rate of sulfur lost to the gas phase tracked.

Some experiments were performed using caustic soda in place of soda ash during stibnite roasting. One result was generated using: 2 grams of – 150+200 stibnite, 1.25 times the stoichiometric amount of NaOH, 823 K (550 C), 90 minutes, and an air flow rate of 130 ml/min.

The sulfate contents of the soda ash roast experiments were determined. The results for the temperature tests is given in Figure 12. There is a minimum at 723 K (450 C) and a maximum at 823 K (550 C). This is thought to be due to two competing reactions.

Sb2S3(s) + 3Na2CO3(s) + 6O2(g) = Sb2O3(s) + 3Na2SO4(s) + 3CO2(g)…………………………………….(14)

4Sb2S3(s) + 3Na2CO3(s) = Sb2O3(s) + 6NaSbS2(s) + 3CO2(g)…………………………………..(15)

Sb2S3(s) + 2Na2CO3(s) = Na3SbS3(s) + NaSbO2(s) + 3CO2(g)…………………………………..(16)

Sb2O3(s) + Na2CO3(s) = 2NaSbO2(s) + CO2(g)…………………………………………………………(17)

The melting point of stibnite is 823 K (550 C) and the molten stibnite apparently accelerates the rate of sulfate formation. The later set of reactions apparently are important at the higher temperatures.

Arsenopyrite – Soda Ash Roasting

Arsenopyrite was roasted with soda ash to evaluate the containment of sulfur and arsenic and the solubility of the arsenic in the roast calcine (as one of the objectives is to roast the mineral in such a way to make the arsenic soluble). The following reaction was proposed:

2FeAsS(s) + 7O2(g) + 5Na2CO3(s) = Fe2O3(s) + 2Na3Aso4(s) +2Na2SO4(s) + 5CO2(g)…………………….(18)

The effect of the arsenopyrite particle size on sulfur retention is shown in Figure 18. There is very little effect. The arsenic retention was greater than 99.9% over the experimental range.

Arsenic Leaching

The amounts of soluble arsenic in the roaster calcines were determined by leaching them in distilled water with and without pH adjustments.

The amount of soluble arsenic increased with increasing soda ash in the roast as is shown in Figure 21. This is due to the enhanced formation of sodium arsenate with increasing amounts of soda ash during roasting.

The effect of the final pH of the water leach on the soluble arsenic is shown in Figure 25. The solubility is enhanced at low and high pH values. The high pH reaction is thought to be the conversion of ferrous (or ferric) arsenate with the sodium hydroxide,

FeAsO4(s) +3NaOH(s) = Na3AsO4(s) + Fe(OH)3(s)………………………………………………….(19)

Arsenic Precipitation

The reactions of interest are thought to be:

HAsO2(aq) + Ca(OH)2(aq) = CaAsO20H(s) + H2O(aq)………………………………………(20)

NaAsO2 (aq) + Ca(OH)2(aq) = CaAsO2OH(s) + NaOH(aq)………………………………..(21)

NaAsO2(aq) + CaCl2(aq) + H2O(aq) = CaAsO20H(s) + NaCl(aq) + HCl(aq)……………………………(22)

CaCl2(aq) + 2NaOH(aq) = 2NaCl(aq) + Ca(OH)2(aq)……………………………………………………..(23)

HCl(aq) + NaOH(aq) = NaCl(aq) + H2O……………………………………………..(24)

The effect of adding calcium chloride on the arsenic precipitation is shown in Figure 28. Again the arsenic is effectively precipitated at CaCl2 additions equivalent to the stoichiometric requirements. The concentrations in solution are shown in Figure 29.

Na3AsO4(aq) + 2Ca(OH)2(aq) = Ca2AsO40H(s) + 3NaOH(aq)……………………………(25)

Na2SO4(aq) + Ca(OH)2(aq) + 2H2O(aq) = CaSO4.2H2O(s) + 2NaOH(aq)…………..(26)

Na3AsO4(aq) + 2CaCl2(aq) + 2H2O(Aq) = Ca2AsO40H(s) + 3NaCl(aq) + HCl(aq)….(27)

Na2SO4(aq) + CaCl2(aq) + 2H2O(aq) = CaSO4.2H2O(s) + 3NaCl(aq) + HCl(aq)…….(28)

HCl(aq) + NaOH(aq) = NaCl(aq) + H2O………………………………………………….(29)

 

soda-ash-roasting proposed processing flow sheet

soda-ash-roasting tube furnace schematic

soda-ash-roasting effect of temperature

soda-ash-roasting stibnite

soda-ash-roasting sulfur lost

soda-ash-roasting off gas

soda-ash-roasting effect of stibnite size

soda-ash-roasting effect of soda ash size

soda-ash-roasting effect of molar ratio

soda-ash-roasting sulfur lost to the off gas

soda-ash-roasting effect of air flow rate

soda-ash-roasting sulfur converted to sodium sulfate

soda-ash-roasting various molar ratios

soda-ash-roasting sodium sulfate

soda-ash-roasting particle size

soda-ash-roasting effect of temperature on sulfur retention

soda-ash-roasting sulfur & arsenic retention

soda-ash-roasting sulfur retention

soda-ash-roasting sulfur retention during feass

soda-ash-roasting arsenic retention

soda-ash-roasting soluble arsenic

soda-ash-roasting effect of feass size

soda-ash-roasting effect of soda ash size on soluble arsenic

soda-ash-roasting effect of feass roast temperature

soda-ash-roasting effect of final leach

soda-ash-roasting effect of calcium hydroxide

soda-ash-roasting final solution

soda-ash-roasting effect of calcium chloride

soda-ash-roasting effect of calcium chloride leach solution

soda-ash-roasting precipitation

soda-ash-roasting final solution analysis

soda-ash-roasting effect of final ph

soda ash roasting of sb-as precious metal concentrates