International Journal of Mineral Processing, Vol.119, 89-92, 2013
Extraction of rare earth metals from deep sea nodule using H2SO4 solution
Leaching of rare earth (RE) metals from the Pacific Ocean sea nodule was carried out in H2SO4 medium. Preliminary study was performed to ascertain the existence of rare earth elements in the sea nodule crust. Concentration of H2SO4 and temperature were found as the key factors which enhance the dissolution rate of rare earth metals. The maximum average RE leaching efficiency of 83.03% was obtained using 3 M H2SO4. At the above condition, leaching of most of the RE was >= 90% and the remaining metals were; Ce 44.6%, La 55.3%, Nd 84.7%, Eu 85.8%, Pr 76.4% and Th 78.8%, in which the co-extraction of other base metals like Fe, Co, Ni, Cu was high. Dilute acid i.e. 0.2 M of H2SO4 and temp. 45 degrees C was found to be best for optimum extraction (57.6%) of total rare earth, where the co-extractions of other base metals (Cu, Co, Ni, Mn and Fe) are very less. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.