Next generation copper smelting technology

A new research collaboration between the University of Queensland (UQ) and a Chinese company will develop the next generation of copper smelting technology.

The partnership between UQ and Chinese metals company Shandong Fangyuan Nonferrous Metals Group (Fangyuan) is focusing the development of smelting technologies with lower fuel consumptions, lower CO2 emissions and a higher copper recovery.

According to UQ deputy vice chancellor Max Lu, the $2 million five year agreement (with $1.25 million provided by Fangyuan and $750 000 from UQ) will enable the research.

Fangyuan is well known for the development of the first commercial oxygen enriched bottom-blowing technology, more commonly known as SKS Technology.

Zhixiang Cui, chairman of Fangyuan, said “oxygen enriched bottom-blowing technology is one of most advanced copper smelting technologies, which has lower fuel consumption, lower CO2 emissions and higher copper recovery. We are looking forward to working with The University of Queensland to further improve this technology”.

Fellow of UQ’s School of Chemical Engineering’s Pyrometallurgy Research Centre, Baojun Zhao, has been the driving force behind the establishment of this partnership and will co-ordinate research activities in collaboration with engineers from Fangyuan.

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