Migration behavior of germanium and its related elements in zinc hydrometallurgy process

Yingjie Xu, Daokai Qu,Hongying Xia,Qi Zhang,Libo Zhang

Separation and Purification Technology(2024)

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Lead-zinc sulfide ore is one of the raw materials for the recovery of strategic germanium resources. Due to the complexity of its mineralization and the diversity of elements, the occurrence and migration of germanium and its related elements in the process of zinc hydrometallurgy is still a mystery. This leads to the recovery efficiency of germanium is always in a disappointing state, which seriously reduces the economic benefits and resource recovery rate in the process of germanium recovery, and limits the development of some cutting-edge industries. Therefore, in view of the above problems, based on the properties of germanium compounds in lead-zinc sulfide minerals, this study analyzed the occurrence state and quantity of germanium in the products of each stage in the process of zinc hydrometallurgy by ICP, XRD, FT-IR, SEM, XPS, Raman spectrum and TG, so as to reveal the reaction behavior and migration law of germanium compounds in the process of zinc hydrometallurgy. The results indicate show that the two roasting will lead to the mutual transformation of GeO2 crystal form between soluble and insoluble, especially in the process of reduction and volatilization of zinc leaching residue. The phenomenon of soluble GeO2 to insoluble GeO2 is particularly significant, and the germanium-containing silicate cannot be reacted in the whole process. In addition, zinc blende, zinc ferrite, tin dioxide and other substances that exhibit isomorphism with germanium compounds will carry germanium into lead slag due to their low solubility. Finally, in view of the problems existing in the current germanium recovery process, positive solutions are proposed to introduce green additives in the two roasting stages to improve the phase of germanium, and to add oxidants or reducing agents in the leaching stage.
Germanium resources,Migration behavior,Separation,Dissolution,Lead-zinc deposit
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