Nickel production (1989)

Documentary №55952, 2 parts, duration: 0:19:12, black-white
Production: Lennauchfilm (LNF)
Camera operators:M.Zagorenko


The process of separating pure nickel from sulfide copper-nickel ores. A textbook created by order of the USSR State Committee for Public Education.

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Panorama of the nickel-producing plant.

Products that use nickel.

Nickel alloys are used in the production of turbine blades.

The launch of a spacecraft with a reusable shuttle.

A quarry for the extraction of ores containing nickel.

These can be copper-nickel sulfide and oxidized ores.

The USSR has mainly sulfide ores.

Dump trucks with ore.

Chemical composition of copper-nickel sulfide ores.

Chemical composition of oxidized nickel ores.

Scheme of processing of sulfide and oxidized ores.

When processing copper-nickel sulfide ores, nickel and copper, cobalt and precious metals, as well as sulfuric acid are obtained.

Transport tape with ore.

The ore enrichment process includes crushing, grinding and flotation enrichment.

As a result of enrichment in pneumomechanical flotation machines, a collective concentrate containing copper and nickel or separately nickel (6-7%) and copper (4%) concentrate is obtained.

Concentrates are condensed in thickeners with a peripheral drive.

Filtered on a disk vacuum filter and dried in drum dryers.

The resulting dried concentrates are rolled in cup granulators and sintered at a temperature of 1100-1200 degrees or dipped on an agglomeration machine, while up to 50% of sulfur is removed from the concentrate.

A mixture of sintered materials with flux additives (quartz, calcium oxide) is sent along a transport belt for melting in ore-thermal electric furnaces and is called a charge.

A cartoon showing the melting process in ore-thermal electric furnaces.

Collecting slag from electric furnaces.

The matte is removed from the furnaces as it accumulates.

The extraction of nickel and copper in matte during melting in electric furnaces is 96-97%.

Pouring the matte into the convector.

A worker is watching the filling.

The purpose of convector conversion is to convert the main part of iron into slag.

During convection, air or its mixture with oxygen is passed through the melt.

A cartoon explaining the processes taking place in the convector.

Nickel and copper in the convector remain in the form of an alloy of sulfides and are called Feinstein.

Extracting Feinstein from the convector and pouring it into the molds.

After cooling, it is fed to the flotation separation, and the slag is sent for further processing.

To slow down the cooling of Feinstein, slag is removed from it with a scraper and sprinkled with sand.

With slow cooling of the liquid feinstein, conditions are created for the growth of large crystals, which makes it possible to fully separate the feinstein by flotation.

The resulting ingots are broken into large pieces, then crushed in shield and cone crushers, crushed in ball mills.

Reagents and environmental regulators are added to the pulp entering the flotation.

A cartoon showing the separation of copper sulfide and nickel sulfide in flotation machines.

As a result of flotation, two concentrates are obtained: nickel, containing 3-4% copper, and copper, containing 3-4% nickel.

Copper concentrate goes into copper smelting production.

Nickel concentrate is condensed, filtered and sent for firing.

The composition of the concentrate.

The flotation process is constantly monitored by X-ray spectral analyzers.

Firing of nickel concentrate.

A cartoon showing the processes taking place in a concentrate kiln.

Rotating tubular furnace for firing nickel oxide.

In the furnace at a temperature of 1300 degrees, sulfur residues are removed.

Central control panel for furnaces.

Key words


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Steelmaking three-phase electric arc furnace for the production of nickel from nickel oxide by reducing melting.

Charcoal, petroleum coke and other low-sulfur carbon-containing materials are used as a reducing agent.

Melting takes place at a temperature of up to 1500 degrees.

A coffered working window is used for the control and maintenance of the furnace.

A team of workers servicing the furnace.

Metal release.

Special oven tilt mechanism.

The resulting melt of rough nickel is poured into molds on a carousel machine.

The main finishing of rough nickel is carried out with wooden poles.

The percentage composition of rough nickel.

In the future, the cooled ingots are used in the electrolytic process as anodes.

Water is used to accelerate cooling.

The resulting anodes are completed in separate bundles and sent to the electrolysis shop.

Electrolysis takes place in baths lined with corrosion-resistant materials, in which cathodes and anodes are suspended on conductive rods.

First, anodes are loaded into the baths.

Then the diaphragm cells made of synthetic fabric are lowered and cathodes are placed in them.

Electrolysis of anodes is carried out in a slightly acidic medium with the addition of sulfate and nickel chloride.

Cartoon showing the process of electrolytic nickel production.

Vats with pneumatic stirring, used for cleaning from iron.

The resulting iron hydroxide precipitates.

The iron cake after the filter enters the ore smelting, and the solution goes for further cleaning.

Cleaning of copper is carried out in a cementator with nickel powder with a highly developed active surface.

After copper deposition, the solution is filtered and sent for purification from cobalt.

Chemical cleaning formulas.

After filtration, the cobalt cake containing 4-6% cobalt hydroxide is sent to cobalt production.

The purified solution is sent to the cathode cells.

The processes of cleaning solutions are fully automated.

Central cleaning control panel.

The computer display screen receives data on pressure, temperature, composition and concentration of solutions.

The computer processes the data and selects the optimal conditions for the cleaning process.

Printout of data.

The spent anodes, whose weight is now 20% of the original, are sent for remelting, and the sludge is processed according to a special scheme.

The resulting cathodes go to the consumer.

Part of the cathodes is cut off at the request of the consumer.

Comparison of processing schemes of sulfide copper-nickel ores and oxidized nickel ores.

Oxidized nickel ores are practically not amenable to enrichment, therefore, the ore is directly smelted for matte.

A cartoon showing the smelting of ore in mine furnaces.

Chemical formulas of the process.

Converting stein.

Firing of nickel sulfides.

Recovery and granulation of metallic nickel using technologies similar to the processing of sulfide ores.

The range of nickel produced.

Key words

Nickel cleaning.

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