Chemical Engineering Journal, Vol.235, 37-45, 2014
Recovery of high-purity magnesium solutions from RO brines by adsorption of Mg(OH)(2(S)) on Fe3O4 micro-particles and magnetic solids separation
A new approach is presented for cost effective recovery of Mg(II) from 1st stage seawater reverse-osmosis brines (salinity: twice seawater concentration). The process is based on precipitation of Mg(OH)(2(s)) on the surface area of self-synthesized magnetite (Fe3O4) micro-particles and magnet-assisted separation of the solids-slurry from the Mg(II)-depleted brine. Once separated from solution, the solids slurry is subjected to acidic conditions (pH similar to 4-6) under which Mg(OH)(2(s)) is recovered as Mg(II) with the counter anion being either SO42-, C1(-) or HCO3(-), depending on the choice of strong acid used in the dissolution step. The magnetite solids are then used in the following adsorption cycle. This paper focuses on proof-of-concept of the suggested process and on defining ranges for the major process operational conditions (Fe3O4 particle concentration; pH range maintained during Mg(OH)(2(s)) dissolution step; determination of the favorable solid-aqueous separation technique, etc.). Once defined, the chosen operational conditions were applied and shown to result in three high purity (>97%) Mg(II) solution products at costs which are comparable with equivalent commercial products. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.