Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 155–166 | Cite as

Hydrometallurgical recycling of cobalt from zinc plants residue



A large amount of hot filter cake (HFC) is annually generated in Iranian zinc plants. It contains 1% zinc, 16–30% manganese, 5–25% calcium and 1–4.5% cobalt. Usually, zinc is selectively leached by an alkaline medium and its residue is known as alkaline leached HFC (ALHFC). In the present study, the possibility of cobalt extraction from ALHFC was investigated using a creative hydrometallurgical process. At the first stage, zinc and cadmium were selectively removed with sulfuric acid. At the second stage, it was deeply focused on the possibility of selective reductive leaching of cobalt by H2O2 as a reductant in the presence of manganese. As results, several differences were found between the mechanism of cobalt and manganese leaching. Accordingly, cobalt leaching was more affected by acid concentration and manganese leaching was more affected by reductant concentration. Consequently, with manipulating these important parameters, it was made possible to selectively separate cobalt from manganese. Based on the obtained results, 90.9% of cobalt and only 10.04% of manganese were leached with 1% of H2O2. At the third stage, pregnant cobalt solution was successfully purified through a solvent extraction process with D2EHPA. Finally, cobalt hydroxide as our final product with a purity of more than 99% was precipitated from the pure pregnant solution at 70 °C.


Iranian zinc plants residue Selective reductive leaching Hydrogen peroxide Solvent extraction D2EHPA Precipitation Cobalt hydroxide 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mining Engineering FacultySahand University of TechnologyTabrizIran
  2. 2.Mineral Processing Research CenterSahand University of TechnologyTabrizIran

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