A new process for sustainable wastewater treatment in Chilean copper smelters

Henrik K. Hansen, Adrián Rojo, Claudia Gutiérrez


An actual Chilean copper smelter wastewater treatment is a complex process that actually mostly is focused on fulfillment of threshold values more than sustainability. The actual wastewater treatment includes a number of precipitation, neutralization, clarifying and filtering steps. This manuscript proposes a new sustainable process that would eliminate/reduce several of the disadvantages in an actual copper wastewater treatment such as a) reduced lime addition, b) a separate gypsum and heavy metal/arsenic precipitation, c) an electrodialysis stage that would recover copper, d) an easier ferric ion dosage for arsenic removal by electrocoagulation, and e) a less reagent consuming neutralization step.

Keyword: Sustainable wastewater treatment, Electrocoagulation, Arsenic removal, Copper recovery

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© European Journal of Sustainable Development

ISSN 2239-5938 (print)
ISSN 2239-6101 (online)