|About this Abstract
||2020 TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition
||PbZn 2020: The 9th International Symposium on Lead and Zinc Processing
||Improving the Byproduct Availability in Zinc Production: an Alternative Extraction Process for Indium
||Xinkai Fu, Katrin Daehn, Antoine Allanore, Elsa Olivetti
|On-Site Speaker (Planned)
The large-scale application for photovoltaic materials could significantly intensify the demand for indium used in copper-indium-gallium-selenide thin films. However, indium is currently being produced almost entirely as a byproduct of zinc smelting and refining, where indium is recovered in the hydrometallurgical residues of zinc purification process. Therefore, the availability of indium can be limited by zinc production. In this work, we propose an alternative indium extraction process, based on carbothermic reduction of sphalerite in the presence of calcium oxide. This process could allow indium to be separated from zinc at minesite instead of at smelters and refineries, and increase indium recovery rate and cost efficiency. With this proposed process, we estimate that up to 20% of global identified indium resources have the economic feasibility to produce indium as a primary product or co-product of zinc.