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Selective Reduction of Southeast Sulawesi Nickel Laterite using Palm Kernel Shell Charcoal: Kinetic Studies with Addition of Na2SO4 and NaCl as Additives

1Public Works and Spatial Planning, Rembang Regency, Central Java, Indonesia

2Research Unit for Mineral Technology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Lampung, Indonesia

3Research Center for Metallurgy and Material, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, South Tangerang, Indonesia

Received: 5 May 2020; Revised: 6 Jun 2020; Accepted: 12 Jun 2020; Available online: 30 Jul 2020; Published: 1 Aug 2020.
Editor(s): Istadi Istadi
Open Access Copyright (c) 2020 by Authors, Published by BCREC Group under

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The aim of the reduction process is to concentrate nickel at high temperatures with a certain carbonaceous material as a reducing agent. The use of chemicals like Na2SO4 and NaCl in the reduction process can increase the content and recovery of nickel in ferronickel concentrates. A selective reduction of laterite nickel was carried out in a non-isothermal and an isothermal using palm kernel shell charcoal as a reductant and with Na2SO4 and NaCl as additives. Firstly, the raw material is made into a pellet and dried in an oven at 100 °C for two hours. The pellets are weighed before and after the reduction process. The non-isothermal reduction process used the Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) method from a temperature of 100 to 1300 °C, with a heat rate of 10 °C per minute. The isothermal reduction at temperatures 500, 600, 700, 950, 1050, and 1150 °C occurred with a reduction time of 30, 60, and 90 minutes. The analysis is Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) to determine the content of nickel and iron from the reduction process, X-ray Diffraction (XRD) to see changes in the phases formed after the selective reduction process, and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM-EDX) for viewing the microstructure of the phase. The Differential Thermal Analyzer-Temperature Gravimetric Analysis (DTA-TGA) results show the endothermic at 256 °C, and the exothermic peak at 935 °C with a total mass loss of 42.15% at 1238 °C. The shrinking core model was used for the kinetic studies of the reduction process. The closest kinetic model to the experimental results is the Ginstling-Brounshtein model, with an activation energy value of 8.73 kcal/mol. Copyright © 2020 by Authors, Published by BCREC Group. This is an open access article under the CC BY-SA License (


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Keywords: additives; characterization; kinetic; nickel laterite; reductor; selective reduction
Funding: Research Unit for Mineral Technology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (BPTM-LIPI)

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