Zinc ferrite is the major phase component present in zinc refinery residue (ZRR) and electric arc furnace dust (EAFD). Up to 71 percent zinc ferrite has been reported to be present in ZRR, and in most studies zinc ferrite has been deemed the major phase in EAFD. In 2010, the global annual production of EAFD was 3.7 Mt, with 15.20 kg of EAFD generated per ton of recycled steel . The generations of ZRR and EAFD have been growing over time, requiring a greener approach for the reutilization and extraction of valuable elements. ZRR can be a potential source of zinc, as its zinc content is as high as 30 percent [2,3]. The presence of zinc ferrite makes the extraction of zinc difficult because zinc ferrite is refractory to leaching, and direct leaching is inefficient. The Waelz process is currently employed to extract zinc from EAFD and other metallurgical wastes. The Waelz process operates in the temperature range of 1,100 to 1,500 °C and uses coke as reductant. This study explores a carbon-free and relatively low-temperature process for the selective extraction of zinc from pure zinc ferrite.
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-020-00306-6