The material inputs and pollution outputs resulting from primary and secondary copper processing are presented in Table 3.5.
Primary copper processing results in air emissions, process wastes, and other solid-phase wastes. Particulate matter and sulfur dioxide are the principal air contaminants emitted by primary copper smelters. Copper and iron oxides are the primary constituents of the particulate matter, but other oxides, such as arsenic, antimony, cadmium, lead, mercury, and zinc, may also be present, with metallic sulfates and sulfuric acid mist. Single-stage electrostatic precipitators are widely used in the primary copper industry to control these particulate emissions. Sulfur oxides contained in the off-gases are collected, filtered, and made into sulfuric acid.
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