Evaluation and control of self-heating in sulphide concentrates

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 94, No. 1056, 2001

F. Rosenblum, J. Nesset and P. Spira (formerly with), Centre de Technologie Noranda, Pointe-Claire, Quebec

Sulphide concentrates may exhibit self-heating to various degrees during storage or shipping, the worst cases presenting a serious hazard from fire and SO2 emission. Based on measurements of heating rates on a wide variety of concentrate samples in a special apparatus, combined with field experience, a methodology has been developed which allows concentrates to be rated for their heating potential. This has proven to be very useful in practice, for example, in deciding on the need to take preventive measures. Oxidation under ambient conditions in the presence of moisture initiates heating locally within a stockpile. In the case of highly active materials, such as those that contain abundant pyrrhotite, heating may progress through three stages to temperatures well above 500¡C. However, most concentrates show little or no propensity to self-heat. Heating rates were used to estimate values of the heat output, or self-heating capacity (in joules per gram), which sustains the process at each stage. Thermal data from differential scanning calorimetry are also reported. Variables which affect self-hea
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