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Chemical Engineering Journal, Vol.381, 2020
Recovery of gallium from sulfuric acid leach liquor of coal fly ash by stepwise separation using P507 and Cyanex 272
For the ever-growing demand of gallium (Ga) resources in electronic applications, the recovery of Ga from the mining residues or waste has received considerable interest. The present paper is focused on the selective recovery of Ga from the sulfuric acid leach liquor of coal fly ash (CFA) by stepwise separation using acidic extractant. The results show that Ga(III) can be effectively separated by controlling the equilibrium pH values and meanwhile employing appropriate extractant based on the different ionic potential and electronic configuration of metal ions. At equilibrium pH <= 0.8, the impurities Ti(IV) and Fe(III) in the liquor can be preferably removed by a two-stage cross current extraction with 1 mol/L P507. Then Ga(III) can be selectively separated against Al (III) using 0.5 mol/L Cyanex 272 at equilibrium pH of 2.4-2.6. The separation factors of Fe/Ga, Fe/Al and Ga/Al can reach 145, 133 and 40, respectively. The extraction mechanism of Ga(III) as well as the Ga(III) complexes with Cyanex 272 were investigated using slope analysis and spectroscopic methods including FT-IR, NMR and ESI-MS, indicating that the extraction of Ga(III) with Cyanex 272 follows an ion exchange mechanism. The Ga (III) complexes with Cyanex 272 (H2L2) contains three coordination compounds, GaL3, Ga(HL)L-3 and Ga(HL)(3)L-3. Both the P-O and P= O groups of Cyanex 272 play the roles in the coordination reaction of Ga(III). The study provides a feasible way for the selective recovery of Ga from coal fly ash.