Refining Differences Between Copper, aluminum, and Steel Essay

Refining Differences Between Copper, aluminum, and Steel Essay

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The process varies when extracting copper from copper ore to obtain a preferred purity level of the final product. However the most common type of process in the United States is called Smelting. This is only achieved once the copper ore has been processed to a specified concentration level. This is done by grinding the ore into a concentration of slurry with chemical agents and water. The copper will float to the top of the slurry mixture when air is blown through the mixture and a frothed layer or a foaming layer allows the copper to attach and overflow the tank, this is called ore benefaction. This is when the concentrated copper gets refined.
The concentrate is dried and sent into a reverberatory furnace. The minerals are partly oxidized and melted, resulting in isolated layers. The matte layer refers to the iron-copper sulfide mixture which sinks to the bottom. The slag, which refers to the remaining impurities, floats on top of the matte and the discarded. Sulfur dioxide gases are also collected and made into sulfuric acid for use in hydrometallurgical leaching. The matte is recovered and moved to the converter, a cylindrical vessel into which the copper is poured. Air, lime and silica are added to react with the metal oxide. The slag is removed and the Sulfur dioxide and converted into sulfuric acid, this forms blister copper which is 97-99% pure.
Blister copper then goes through the fire refining and then cast into copper anodes and placed in an electrolytic cell. Each copper anode is placed in a tank made of concrete. A sheet of copper is placed on the opposite end of the concrete tank to become the cathode or the negative terminal. An acidic copper sulfate solution is then poured into the concrete tanks; this forms the e...

... middle of paper ... produced. (1999, May 16). Retrieved from Rocks and Minerals:
Iqbal, M. K. (2013, March 27). NED University of Engineering and Technology. Retrieved from Department of Metallurgy Engineering:
MatWeb. (n.d.). Overview of materials for Low Carbon Steel. Retrieved February 7, 2014, from MatWeb:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (1995). Profile of the Iron and Steel Industry. Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. Washingto, DC: Office of Compliance. Retrieved February 07, 2014, from

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