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Reactivity of Low-Grade Chromite Concentrates towards Chlorinating Atmospheres

Abstract : The most economically important iron-chromium bearing minerals is chromite. In natural deposits, iron(II) is frequently substituted by magnesium(II) while chromium(III) is replaced by aluminum(III) and/or iron(III) forming a complex chromium bearing material. The majority of mined chromite is intended for the production of ferrochrome which requires a chromite concentrate with high chromium-to-iron ratio. Found mostly in the spinel chromite structure, iron cannot be removed by physical mineral processing methods. In this frame, the present work deals with the reaction of chlorine and chlorine+oxygen with selected samples of chromite concentrates for assessing the reactivity of their components towards chlorinating atmosphere, allowing the preferential removal of iron, hence meeting the chromite metallurgical grade requirements. Isothermal thermogravimetric analysis was used as a reliable approach for the kinetic reactivity investigation. Results indicated a wide difference in the thermal behavior of chromite constituents in a chlorinating atmosphere when considering their respective values of apparent activation energy oscillating from about 60 to 300 kJ/mol as a function of the sample reacted fraction. During the chromite treatment by chlorine in presence of oxygen, chromium was recovered as liquid chromyl chloride by condensation of the reaction gas phase.
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Ndue Kanari, Eric Allain, Lev Filippov, Seit Shallari, Frédéric Diot, et al.. Reactivity of Low-Grade Chromite Concentrates towards Chlorinating Atmospheres. Materials, MDPI, 2020, 13 (20), pp.4470. ⟨10.3390/ma13204470⟩. ⟨hal-02964069⟩

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