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Effect of Mechanical Activation on Leachability of Fayalite in Sulfuric Acid Solution

[ Vol. 10 , Issue. 2 ]


Rashid Nadirov* and Lyazzat Mussapyrova   Pages 82 - 87 ( 6 )


Background: Being by-products of non-ferrous metallurgy, slags contain fayalite (Fe2SiO4) as the major component. Since hydrometallurgical methods are considered as the most promising for processing such material to obtain valuable metals, increasing the leachability of fayalite in sulfuric acid as a widely used leaching agent is an important task.

Objective: The present work was devoted to increasing the reactivity of fayalite by using mechanical activation.

Method: Fayalite, synthesized with the use of powders of metallic Fe, Fe2O3, and SiO2, was subjected to mechanical activation in the planetary ball mill at 400 rpm with a ball/powder ratio of 5 for 45 minutes. Then, activated and non-activated fayalite samples were subjected to sulfuric acid leaching. Before leaching, solid samples were characterized by XRD and Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS). Quantitative analysis of Fe and Si in the leachate was determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy.

Results: Mechanical activation led to partial amorphization of the initial fayalite sample. It was found that the leaching rate constants of the treated samples in sulfuric acid solution (50-80 g×L-1) at 298, 338, and 368 K increased and the activation energy of the leaching process decreased, i.e. mechanical activation enhances the reactivity of fayalite in H2SO4 solution.

Conclusion: Mechanical activation can be applied to improve fayalite leachability in sulfuric acid solution. The results obtained can be used in the development of methods for leaching slag of non-ferrous metallurgy, in particular, copper smelter slags, the major component of which is fayalite.


Fayalite, hydrometallurgical methods, mechanical activation, metallurgy, slag, sulfuric acid leaching.


Department of General and Inorganic Chemistry, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, Department of General and Inorganic Chemistry, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty

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