UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Fundamental study on extracting lead from cerussite concentrate in methane sulfonic acid based solution Wu, Zheng-hui


Cerussite (PbCO₃) concentrates may be recovered from oxidized lead ores. These concentrates suffer from the intrinsic fuel shortage via traditional smelting route and may lead to widespread contamination in shipment. Therefore, a hydro-electrometallurgical process to treat cerussite concentrate by methane sulfonic acid (MSA) is proposed to solve the above problems. The leaching of cerussite concentrate by MSA was first studied. The parameters of stirring speed, temperature, acid concentration, particle sizes and solid concentration were considered. It was found that stirring speed, temperature, particle size and proton concentration had a significant influence on the kinetics while solid concentration showed no effect on the final lead extraction under the experimental conditions. The leaching results indicated that MSA is favourable to treat cerussite concentrate and the lead extraction could achieve the theoretical maximum in just 10 min at ambient conditions. The lead content in solution obtained at high solid concentration was sufficiently high, and easily met the concentration requirements for the subsequent electrolysis process. After leaching, the residue was subjected to a desulfurization treatment to recover the remaining lead in residue. Using desulfurization agent Na₂CO₃, the remaining lead, mainly in anglesite, was transformed to PbCO₃ that was followed by a re-leaching treatment with MSA. An overall lead recovery of 98% was finally obtained. In the electrowinning process from MSA based electrolyte, the individual and synergistic effects of two ligninsulfonate salts and two glycol-type agents on lead deposit quality were first investigated. Compared to the other three additives, the individual use of calcium ligninsulfonate most benefited the morphology of lead deposit. The operating parameters in the lead electrowinning process (i.e. temperature, current density, concentrations of lead ion and protons) had a widely acceptable range. The cathodic current efficiency and specific energy consumption in most tests were around 99% and 0.53Wh/kg, respectively. The SEM micrographs showed that the lead deposits obtained under the optimal conditions were compact and even. These results for leaching and electrolysis made the MSA system competitive to the comparable fluoborate and fluosilicate systems. Finally a simplified flowsheet to extract lead from cerussite concentrate in MSA based solution was proposed.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International