Sorption from slurries—A promising method in the processing of rare earth elements
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The article presents the results of sorptive extraction of rare-earth elements (REE) from the solutions and slurries of complex salt compositions using sulfocationites and carboxyl cationites with a predominant content of the latter on laboratory and pilot scales. Upon REE sorption from hydrate slurry on KM-2p carboxyl cationite, the REE extraction rate of at least 98% has been achieved, and the following factors of ΣREE purification from impurities have been obtained: KREE/Al = 1.7, KREE/Th = 2.3, KREE/Ca ≈ 20, KREE/Zr = 15, KREE/Fe ≈ 40, and KREE/P,F ≈ 90. It is demonstrated that the REE capacity of cationite SG-1m is higher than that of cationite KM-2p by 10%; moreover, the content of thorium on KM-2p cationite is lower by 2.5 times and that of zirconium by 6 times. After the recovery of saturated cationites by 1.5–2.0 M HNO3 solutions, strippants have been extracted with a REE concentration of 15–20 g/L. The factors of REE purification from impurities upon desorption are as follows: KREE/Al = 2.5, KREE/Th = 0.5, KREE/Ca = 5.3, KREE/Zr = 5.6, and KREE/Fe = 0.8. The REE recovery rate is ≥99%.
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