Copper enrichment of scrap by phase separation in liquid Fe-Cu-C system

Katsunori Yamaguchi*, Yoichi Takeda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


A mixture of iron, copper and carbon was melted in a carbon crucible at 1453K. The top layer which was rich in iron and the bottom layer which was rich in copper were clearly separated in the crucible. We could thus make fundamental experiment to carry out a phase separation for copper recovery from iron scrap containing copper. One of the focuses is how an extra element to the Fe-Cu-C ternary system affects the phase separation. We added Cr, Mn, Al, Si or S to Fe-Cu-C ternary system, and determined the compositions of miscibility gap at 1453K under carbon saturation. In some cases scrap contains precious metal. On this account the recovery distribution ratios of precious metal were also measured The alloy compositions on the miscibility gap in the Fe-Cu-C system are 91.1%Fe-4.7%Cu-4.2%C and 96.7%Cu-3.3%Fe. Addition of aluminum, Silicon or sulfur causes the gap to narrow. An increase in carbon solubility in the phase rich in iron reduces copper solubility, which affects recovery of copper from scrap. The relation between copper and carbon solubility in the phase rich in iron is (%Cu)=0.68(%C)2-7.26(%C)+22.77. Gold, silver and palladium are enriched in the phase rich in iron. Platinum distributes both phases equally. The activity coefficients of Ag, Au, Pd and Pt were estimated from the distribution ratios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-37
Number of pages12
JournalMetallurgical Review of MMIJ (Mining and Metallurgical Institute of Japan)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Metals and Alloys


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