Thermodynamic and kinetic study of the recovery of tungsten and cobalt from tool waste
In the present research work, the recovery of tungsten and cobalt from waste coming from tungsten carbide-cobalt (WC-Co) tools, which are widely used in the metalworking industry, was analyzed. The WC-Co waste was characterized by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy with microanalysis (SEM/EDS). The process started with the oxidation of the waste to obtain a mixture of oxides (WO3 and CoWO4). The ΔH and ΔG were calculated both for the oxidation and reduction processes. Thermodynamic and non-isothermal kinetic analyses were carried out to obtain a stability diagram where theoretical and experimental data are defined by transformation lines as a function of temperature; in addition, the apparent activation energy was determined. By a hydrogen reduction process, high-purity tungsten and cobalt in metallic form were obtained.
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