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Investigation of Methods for Separating Thorium and Rare-Earth Elements in Nitric-Acid Leaching Solutions for Loparite Concentrate

The possibility and efficacy of purifying a solution of rare-earth elements after nitric-acid decomposition of loparite concentrate from thorium by means of sorption on VP-1AP anionite and chemical precipitation in the form of iron-thorium cake were studied and evaluated. Pilot tests of the loparite concentrate processing technology show effective release of the sum of rare-earth elements and thorium into the liquid phase. The conditions for the combined sorption extraction of thorium and rare-earth elements under static and dynamic conditions on the VP-1AP anion exchanger were determined. It is shown that the capacity of the sorbent can be restored by regeneration with a 4M НNO3 solution. Nitric acid leaching of loparite at 110°C followed by precipitation of thorium at pH 4 ensured 98% rare-earth extraction.

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Correspondence to D. A. Elatontsev.

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Translated from Atomnaya Énergiya, Vol. 130, No. 2, pp. 78–83, February, 2021.

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Elatontsev, D.A., Mukhachev, A.P. Investigation of Methods for Separating Thorium and Rare-Earth Elements in Nitric-Acid Leaching Solutions for Loparite Concentrate. At Energy 130, 82–87 (2021).

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