Remediation of copper concentrates

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Chemistry


New biochemical and chemical methods will be designed and evaluated to maximise the remediation of copper concentrates without using organic solvents and to capture arsenic pollutants.
The capture and treatment of high levels of arsenic from copper-smelting flue dust, concentrates, and waste water that result from copper mining is important due to concerns over the environmental management of this potential carcinogen.[Refs. 1-3] Treatment technologies for arsenic-containing metallurgical wastes have been developed, including the oxidative precipitation of arsenic as its stable iron oxide mineral scorodite
(FeAs04.2H20) from acidic copper solutions. However, these precipitation processes are time-consuming, yield poorly characterised materials, and can be compromised due to the cementation of heavy metals such as cadmium. Furthermore, the upstream production of copper by solvent extraction requires the use of environmentally damaging organic solvents. This project will seek to improve arsenic remediation from copper concentrates using new extraction chemistry integrated with microbial precipitation to yield stable and environmentally benign waste arsenic materials. The exploitation of selective precipitation procedures in arsenic, cadmium, and copper production will be explored.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
NE/S007407/1 24/09/2019 29/09/2027
2734414 Studentship NE/S007407/1 31/08/2022 28/02/2026 Lee Fox