Studies On Copper Extraction With Hydroxyoxime Extractants For The Design Of Hollow Fibre Membrane Based Extraction Processes

  • Salman Rashid

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This work has included a review of the most relevant aspects of measurement techniques and mathematical models proposed in the literature to assess the equilibrium and mass transfer data of metal extraction by the use of chelating agents. The limitations of these techniques and models have been highlighted.

    Three chelating extractants diluted in EscaidllO were used to study the extraction equilibrium of copper. The extractants are 5-nonylacetophenone oxime (LIX84®), 5- dodeylsalicylaldoxime (LIX860®) and 50/50 v/v mixture of both oximes (LIX984®). The copper concentration changes in the aqueous and the organic phases were monitored by using atomic absorption spectrophotometer.

    Two mathematical models (a chemical model and a semi-empirical model) have been developed in this study to predict the equilibrium data of copper sulfate/ hydroxyoxime system.

    The chemical model was found to fit all the three equilibrium systems (CuSO4/ LIX84®, LIX860®and LIX984®) equally. The semi-empirical model based on Freundlich's adsorption equation was also found to fit the three systems but with less accuracy. The mass transfer characteristics and properties of copper extraction and recovery from an aqueous solution using LIX984® were studied using dispersion-based (rising drops) and dispersion-free techniques. In the dispersion-based technique the organic phase was dispersed in form of drops at the tip of hypodermic needle while the aqueous solution was used as a continuous phase.

    The extraction process was carried out in four different height columns under wide range of conditions. The effects of the columns' height, the dispersed and the continuous phases concentrations on the metal rate of mass transfer were
    investigated. It has been found in that the metal's rate of mass transfer and system's overall mass transfer coefficient have remained constant in all four columns. A model utilising the two-film theory, some of the dimensionless groups and the experimental results has been proposed in this work to calculate the local mass transfer coefficients in the dispersed phase and the continuous phase. The overall mass transfer coefficient and the calculated local coefficients were used to account for the reaction rate constant at the interface from the sum of the individual resistances to mass transfer.

    A dispersion-free technique consisting of a microporous hollow fibre module was used in this study to examine the mass transfer properties of the extraction and stripping processes of copper across an immobilised interface system. The extraction and re-extraction (stripping) processes in this system were conducted under a wide range of operating conditions and produced satisfactory results. In general it has been found that counter current flow arrangement gave higher concentration driving forces which were reflected in form higher metal concentrations at the extract phase.

    A generalised mathematical model was developed in this study which utilised Wilson's method, the experimental data, some dimensionless groups and the two-film theory to account for local resistances and predict the system's overall mass transfer coefficient. A correlation was established first to calculate mass transfer coefficients using a form of Leveque's equation which relates the two phase's physical properties and the system's parameters.

    The membrane mass transfer coefficient was calculated from the structural properties of the membrane material. While the resistance at the reaction interface was calculated under set of experimental conditions. The individual coefficients were then used to predict the overall mass transfer coefficient under any set of conditions by using the aditivity approach of the individual resistances to mass transfer. However, further checks and investigations are necessary to validate this model over variety of extraction systems and membrane configurations.
    Date of AwardApr 1999
    Original languageEnglish

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