Platinum group metals (PGMs) are precious rare metals mined only in a few regions of the world. Recycling PGMs used in automotive catalytic converters is of utmost importance to meet increasing global demand. The Rose process is the main recycling process used in Japan to recover PGMs from spent automotive catalytic converters. The recycling process involves smelting a ceramic structure, in which PGMs are supported, with Cu, Cu2O, reductants, and fluxes such as CaO and SiO2. This study compared the Pd and Pt recovery capability of Cu or Cu2O as extractants. Pd and Pt particles were simultaneously suspended in Al2O3-CaO-SiO2 molten slag, and the extractant Cu or Cu2O was added. The concentration of Pd and Pt in the slag as a function of processing time was investigated at 1723K of the operating temperature in the Rose process, under carbon saturation. The results show that the suspended Pd and Pt particles were combined by collisions in the slag, and the recovery ratio and recovery speed of Pd and Pt suspended particles were higher when using Cu2O than when using Cu. The Cu2O dissolved in the slag was reduced to metallic Cu in the slag and alloyed with the suspended PGMs particles to form Cu-PGMs alloys. As a result, the particle size of the PGMs increased and sedimentation motion in the slag is promoted.
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