Copper enrichment of iron-base alloy scraps by phase separation in liquid Fe-Cu-P and Fe-Cu-P-C systems

Katsunori Yamaguchi*, Takuya Ohara, Shigeru Ueda, Yoichi Takeda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


A clear phase separation into liquid iron-rich and copper-rich alloys was observed when a mixture of Fe, Cu and P was melted in an alumina or carbon crucible at 1373 K. Since this phase separation is considered to be useful for recovering valuable copper from iron-base alloy scraps, the phase equilibrium in the Fe-Cu-P and Fe-Cu-P-C systems was investigated in this study. The effect of carbon to the phase separation was determined in the concentration range of phosphorous between 7 and 11 mass% at 1373 K. It was found that the addition of carbon enlarged the miscibility gap of the Fe-Cu-P system. Distribution ratios of some minor elements of Au, Ag, Pd, Pt, Rh, Cr, Mn and Ni between the liquid iron-rich and copper rich phases were also measured at 1373 K. It was found that Au, Ag and Pd were enriched in the copper-rich phase, while Pt and Mn were distributed in both phases, and Rh, Cr and Ni preferentially in the iron-rich phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1864-1868
Number of pages5
JournalMaterials Transactions
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • Copper recovery
  • Distribution ratio
  • Iron scrap
  • Iron-copper-phosphorus
  • Iron-copper-phosphorus-carbon
  • Precious metal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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