Pilot-scale recovery of rare earths and scandium from phosphogypsum and uranium leachates
1 Institute of Physics and Technology Ural Federal University, Russia
2 VTT – Technical Research Centre of Finland
a Corresponding author: Risto.Pajarre@vtt.fi
Ural Federal University (UrFU) and VTT have performed joint research on development of industrial technologies for the extraction of REM and Scandium compounds from phosphogypsum and Uranium ISL leachate solutions. Leaching-absorption experiments at UrFU have been supported with multicomponent solution modelling by VTT. The simulations have been performed with VTT’s ChemSheet/Balas program and can be used for speciation calculations in the lixiviant solution. The experimental work combines solvent extraction with advanced ion exchange methodology in a pilot facility capable of treating 5 m3 solution per hour. Currently, the plant produces cerium carbonate, lanthanum oxide, neodymium oxide and concentrate of heavy rare earth metals. A batch of 45 t solids has been processed with the gain of 100 kg’s of REM concentrate. A mini-pilot plant with productivity above 50 liters per hour has been applied to recover scandium oxide and REE concentrates from the uranium ISL solution. As the preliminary product contains radioactivity (mainly strontium), an additional decontamination and cleaning of both concentrates by extraction has rendered a necessity. Finally a purified 99% concentrate of scandium oxide as well as 99% rare earth concentrate are received.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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