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Rare earth metal ion solubility in sulphate-phosphate solutions of pH range −0.5 to 5.0 relevant to processing fluorapatite rich concentrates: Effect of calcium, aluminium, iron and sodium ions and temperature up to 80°C

Senanayake, G., Jayasekera, S., Bandara, A.M.T.S., Koenigsberger, E., Koenigsberger, L. and Kyle, J. (2016) Rare earth metal ion solubility in sulphate-phosphate solutions of pH range −0.5 to 5.0 relevant to processing fluorapatite rich concentrates: Effect of calcium, aluminium, iron and sodium ions and temperature up to 80°C. Minerals Engineering, 98 . pp. 169-176.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mineng.2016.07.022
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Abstract

The extraction of rare earth oxides from fluorapatite rich phosphate concentrates often involves a weak acid leach of fluorapatite and a sulphuric acid bake of the leach residue followed by water leach and precipitation to obtain an intermediate product. The main aim of this study was to determine and rationalize the solubility of rare earth metal ions in synthetic solutions representing various process liquors at the temperatures 40, 60 and 80 °C. The liquors contained different acid and metal ion concentrations with respect to sulphuric acid, phosphoric acid and sulphate salts of sodium, magnesium, aluminium, potassium, calcium and iron(III). A solid of mixed rare earth carbonates was used as the source of rare earth metal ions. The solubility tests and characterisation of solids using XRD were conducted at Murdoch University laboratories as part of the process development for the Arafura Resources Nolans rare earth project. The composition of initial carbonate solids and the solids and solutions formed after saturation were analysed for rare earth and other elements at TSW Analytical Laboratories in Perth using ICP-MS and ICP-OES. The precipitated solid in sodium-rich acidic sulphate solutions is the double salt NaRE(SO4)2 based on the solid assays. However, in acidic solutions free of sodium or of low concentrations of sodium the precipitated solid appears to be RE2(SO4)3.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/33191
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