A Clean, Energy Efficiency Extractive Metallurgical Method──Slurry Electrolysis Process (SEP)
Qiu Dingfan (Beijing General research institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Beijing 100044, China )
Environmental pollution and energy shortage are two main barriers for the development of heavy non-ferrous metallurgical industry. Slurry electrolysis process, which is researched on the basis of analyzing the main problems in heavy non-ferrous hydrometallurgy, is a clean, energy efficiency extractive metallurgical method. It has many advantages, such as short process, low energy consumption, efficient metal separation, low environmental pollution, and so on. The notable character of SEP is that leaching ores can be completed through anode oxidation during electrowinning, which can greatly reduce energy consumption. In cells, the sulfur from sulfides will be converted to elemental sulfur rather than sulfuric acid, which is good for environmental protection. This paper describes the domestic and international development of slurry electrolysis process (SEP), and introduces the situation of the first commercial SEP plant in the world, which is designed by China. This paper also points out that China is in world leading in this field and SEP will have good prospect in the future.