Separation Of Nickel And Cobalt From Calcium, Magnesium And Manganese By Solvent Extraction With Synergistic Mixtures Of Carboxylic Acids

Preez, A. C. du
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2004
The separation of nickel and cobalt from calcium, magnesium and manganese by solvent extraction using synergistic mixtures of carboxylic acids was studied. Addition of certain viable synergists to commercially available tertiary branched carboxylic acids, such as Versatic 10 (Shell) or Neodecanoic acid (Exxon), produced large synergistic shifts (?pH50) in the pH50values for nickel, and small antagonistic shifts (negative ?pH50values) in the extraction of calcium. Under the initial test conditions used (0.50 M each of Neodecanoic acid and the Mintek synergist, in xylene) a large separation (pH50Ca? pH50Ni= 3.09 pH units) between nickel and calcium in their extraction from 1.00 M sodium nitrate solutions was obtained, compared with only 1.11 pH units in the absence of the synergist. The selectivity series for the extraction of divalent base metals from 0.333 M sodium sulphate solutions by 0.50 M Neodecanoic acid and 0.25 M of the Mintek synergist in C12-C13aliphatic diluent was found to lie in the order (with pH50values in parentheses): Cu(3.42) > Ni (5.08) > Zn (5.58) > Co (5.73) > Mn (6.62) > Ca (7.48) >Mg (8.25). In batch counter current experiments, a simulated leach liquor containing (in gL-1): Ni 5, Mg 5, Mn 2, Co 0.5, Ca 0.5, Cu 0.1and Zn 0.1 was contacted with the mixed extractant in three stages at unit phase ratio and an equilibrium pH of 5.9. The recovery of nickel was 99.9 per cent and that of cobalt was 84.7 per cent, whilst the co-extractions of manganese, calcium and magnesium were 2.7,1.5 and 0.04 per cent, respectively. The recovery of cobalt can be enhanced by employing a slightly higher pH, although this will also increase the extraction of manganese, calcium and magnesium somewhat. Nearly quantitative stripping (99 per cent) of nickel from the loaded organic phase was achieved in a single contact at an organic-to-aqueous phase ratio of 4 using a simulated spent electrolyte containing 39 gL-1sulphuric acid and 33 gL-1nickel,thereby producing an ?advance electrolyte? containing 57 gL-1nickelat pH 3.5. Loading of acid into the organic phase was very slight, amounting to only 0.002 M H+in contact with the above-mentioned spent electrolyte. Keywords: solvent extraction; synergism; nickel; calcium; carboxylic acids.
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