|Himawan Tri Bayu Murti Petrus||1. Department of Chemical Engineering (Sustainable Mineral Processing Research Group), Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Jl. Grafika No. 2, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia 2. Unconventiona|
|Andreas Diga Pratama Putera||Department of Chemical Engineering (Sustainable Mineral Processing Research Group), Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Jl. Grafika No. 2, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia|
|I Wayan Warmada||1. Unconventional Geo-resources Research Center, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Jl. Grafika No. 2, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia 2. Department of Geological Engineering, Faculty of En|
|Fajar Nurjaman||Research Unit for Mineral Technology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Jl. Ir. Sutami Km. 15, Tanjung Bintang, Lampung Selatan, Indonesia|
|Widi Astuti||Research Unit for Mineral Technology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Jl. Ir. Sutami Km. 15, Tanjung Bintang, Lampung Selatan, Indonesia|
|Agus Prasetya||1. Department of Chemical Engineering (Sustainable Mineral Processing Research Group), Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Jl. Grafika No. 2, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia 2. Unconventiona|
The performance and kinetic of saprolitic laterite reduction using palm kernel shell charcoal and anthracite were studied. The anthracite coal represents the conventional high-grade carbon content matter, and palm kernel shell charcoal represents biomass-based reductant. The experiment was conducted at a temperature ranging from 800oC and 1000oC. XRD analysis was applied to observe phase transformation. For the kinetic study, two models, namely (1) Jander and (2) Ginstling-Brounhstein diffusion model, were applied. The mineral phase results indicated that both reductants yield Magnetite from Goethite in the laterite. The best fit model is obtained by the Jander model with the energy activation of 33.68 kJ/mol for anthracite reductant and 10.99 – 18.19 kJ/mol for palm kernel shell reductant, indicating that reduction is easier to occur using palm kernel shell.
Kinetics; Phase transformation; Reduction; Roasting; Saprolite
Nickel could be a transition component
with properties of ferrous and nonferrous metals (Kim
et al., 2010). Nickel ore is affiliated with oxide (nickel laterite) or
sulfur (nickel sulfide). Almost 58% of nickel requests are provided by sulfide
metals, even though 78% of nickel is stored in laterite minerals (Dalvi et al., 2004). However, as the continuous
exploitation of sulphidic ores occurred in recent years, the sources became
scarce and underground mining was introduced. Consequently, the exploitation
cost was rising, especially the labour cost. On the contrary, the mining activity
of laterite deposits is considerably shallow (usually less than 50 meters) (Elias, 2002). So, much concern has been
concentrated on using low-grade nickel ore (especially those containing <2.0
wt.% nickel) (Lee et al., 2005), such as
In terms of nickel laterite, Indonesia has an abundant deposit of it. About 12% of nickel laterite resources are stored in Indonesia (Dalvi et al., 2004). Until 2013, Indonesia is one of the biggest nickel mine producers. However, the Government issued a new policy to limit direct export activities to encourage the production of ferronickel and nickel pig iron (U.S. Geological Survey, 2014). This condition pushes stakeholders, industries, and researchers to develop nickel laterite processing in Indonesia.
There are two kinds of laterite, namely limonite and saprolite. Limonite is low-nickel content laterite (around 0.8-1.5% Ni-mass), and saprolite is a rich-nickel content (more than 1.5-3% Ni-mass) (Whittington & Muir, 2000). Both hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical processes can be used to extract nickel from the laterites. However, due to its high nickel content, saprolite ore is better processed by pyrometallurgy (Li et al., 2011; Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Republic of Indonesia, 2013). There are usually three unit operations in the pyrometallurgical process: roasting, smelting, and converting. The reduction process consumes carbon-based reductant, usually coke, and produces a tremendous amount of carbon dioxide. This process is highly energy-consuming (Guo et al., 2009) and not environmentally friendly.
Replacing the coke with
bio-reductant has been an interesting issue concerning carbon dioxide emission
to be studied.
Palm kernel shell charcoal is the potential to be utilized as a reductant in the saprolite roasting process. The saprolite sample mixed with palm kernel shell charcoal can yield the identical mineral phase to the sample that used anthracite coal after the roasting process, namely Magnetite, Olivine, and Hematite. The product minerals are transformed from Goethite, confirming the reduction in all samples. In addition, higher temperature and prolonged reduction process increase the conversion of Goethite into magnetite. In terms of kinetics results, the Jander model fits better for both reductants than the Ginstling-Brounshtein model, with lower energy activation for the biomass-based reductant of 10.99 – 18.19 kJ/mol compared to that of anthracite reductant of about 33.68 kJ/mol. The positive results of biomass-based charcoal utilization hopefully encourage the development of a sustainable pyro-based nickel laterite processing process.
We highly appreciate the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education of Indonesia for the financial support in the scheme of PUPT (Penelitian Unggulan Perguruan Tinggi) 2364/UN1.P.III/DIT-LIT/LT/2017 and BPDP Kelapa Sawit Research Grant for Students. On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
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