Application of Taguchi method and artificial neural network model for the prediction of reductive leaching of cobalt(III) from oxidised low-grade ores
The leaching process of cobalt using a wide range of experimental variables is described. The treated cobalt samples were from the Kalumbwe Mine in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this study, a predictive model of cobalt recovery using both the Taguchi statistical method and an artificial neural network (ANN) algorithm was proposed. The Taguchi method utilising a L25 (55) orthogonal array and an ANN multi-layer, feed-forward, back-propagation learning algorithm were adopted to optimise the process parameters (acid concentration, leaching time, temperature, percentage solid, and sodium metabisulfite concentration) responsible for the high recovery of cobalt by reducing sulfuric acid leaching. The ANN was built with a neuron in the output layer corresponding to the cobalt leaching recovery, 10 hidden layers, and 5 input variables. The validation of the ANN model was performed with the results of the Taguchi method. The optimised trained neural network depicts the testing data and validation data with R2 equal to 1 and 0.5676, respectively.
- We statistically investigated the main factors (acid concentration, leaching time, temperature, percentage solid, and sodium metabisulfite concentration) that affect the cobalt(III) leaching performance using both the Taguchi method and artificial neural network model. This allowed us to ascertain that it is indeed possible to leach cobalt(III) from oxide ores and to identify the optimum leaching conditions.
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