The use of chloride in the heap leaching of sulfide minerals requires the regeneration of the oxidants copper(II) and iron(III). While this is possible in a sulfate system by the use of bacterially catalysed oxidation of iron(II), this can only economically be achieved by chemical reaction with dissolved oxygen in chloride systems due to the sensitivity of bacteria to high concentrations of chloride ions. The kinetics of the reduction of dissolved oxygen by copper(I) in acidic chloride solutions has been studied under possible heap leach conditions. The results confirm some published data that the rate is second-order in copper(I). The rate increases with increasing acid concentrations but decreases with increasing chloride and copper(II) concentrations. Peroxide has been shown to be a detectable intermediate and a modified mechanism has been proposed which is consistent with the kinetic data. The use of the derived rate equation in a modified rate expression for the copper-catalysed auto-oxidation of iron(II) has been derived.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
- Metals and Alloys
- Materials Chemistry