Recycling of WC–Co hardmetal sludge by a new hydrometallurgical route

Lee, Jae-chun and Kim, Eun-young and Kim, Ji-Hye and Kim, Wonbaek and Kim, Byung-Soo and Pandey, B D (2011) Recycling of WC–Co hardmetal sludge by a new hydrometallurgical route. International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials, 29 (3). pp. 365-371.

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A hydrometallurgical process based on aqua regia treatment of WC–Co hardmetal sludge was developed to simultaneously extract cobalt in solution and forming tungstic acid as residue in a single step. The parameters such as aqua regia concentration, temperature and time of reaction, and pulp density were optimized to process the sludge containing 60.9 wt.% W, 5.99 wt.% Co, 3.38 wt.% Fe and 12.64 wt.% C as the major components. Almost complete leaching of cobalt was achieved with 100 vol.% of aqua regia at 100 °C temperature, 60 min reaction time and 400 g/L pulp density. Complete conversion of tungsten carbide of the sludge to tungstic acid was observed at and below the pulp density of 150 g/L under this condition. The progress of reaction and conversion of tungsten carbide to tunstic acid (H2WO4) were investigated by XRD phase identification of the residues under different conditions. The tungstic acid produced from the acid treatment was purified by dissolving tungsten in 11.20 mol/L of ammonia solution at 60 °C while rejecting insoluble metallic impurities as a residue. Tungsten from the ammoniacal solution was recovered by evaporation–crystallization process as high purity (99.97%) ammonium paratunstate (APT, (NH4)10·H2W12O42·4H2O) with low levels of impurities. Research Highlights ► A high purity APT from WC-Co sludge was prepared by the hydrometallurgical process. ► The process consists of Co extraction and formation of tungstic acid by aqua regia. ► The impurities in tungstic acid were removed by ammonia dissolution of tungstic acid. ► The method is an effective way for recycling of W and Co from WC-Co hardmetal sludge.

Item Type:Article
Official URL/DOI:
Uncontrolled Keywords:Hardmetal; Tungsten carbide; Cobalt; Tungstic acid; Aqua regia
Divisions:Metal Extraction and Forming
ID Code:2955
Deposited By:Dr. A K Sahu
Deposited On:03 Jun 2011 11:30
Last Modified:18 Apr 2013 10:25
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