Two-phase Liquid Extraction - Extraction of Metals

Extraction of Metals

The extraction methods for a range of metals include:

  • Cobalt – The extraction of cobalt from hydrochloric acid using alamine 336 in meta-xylene. Cobalt can be extracted also using Cyanex 272 {bis-(2,4,4-trimethylpentyl) phosphinic acid}.
  • Copper – Copper can be extracted using hydroxyoximes as extractants, a recent paper describes an extractant that has a good selectivity for copper over cobalt and nickel.
  • Neodymium – This rare earth is extracted by di(2-ethyl-hexyl)phosphoric acid into hexane by an ion exchange mechanism.
  • Nickel – Nickel can be extracted using di(2-ethyl-hexyl)phosphoric acid and tributyl phosphate in a hydrocarbon diluent (Shellsol).
  • Palladium and platinum – Dialkyl sulfides, tributyl phosphate and alkyl amines have been used for extracting these metals.
  • Zinc and cadmium – The zinc and cadmium are both extracted by an ion exchange process, the N,N,N′,N′-tetrakis(2-pyridylmethyl)ethylenediamine (TPEN) acts as a masking agent for the zinc and an extractant for the cadmium. In the modified Zincex process, zinc is separated from most divalent ions by solvent extraction. D2EHPA (Di (2) ethyl hexyl phosphoric acid) is used for this. A zinc ion replaces the proton from two D2EHPA molecules. To strip the zinc from the D2EHPA, sulfuric acid is used, at a concentration of above 170g/l (typically 240-265g/l).

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