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Copper extraction from aqueous solutions with liquid emulsion membranes : a preliminary laboratory study
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    "The U.S. Bureau of Mines investigated the use of unsupported liquid emulsion membranes (LEM's) for the extraction of copper from relatively dilute aqueous solutions (< or = to 0.3 and 2.5 g/L Cu). The performance characteristics of the three main unit operations of an LEM circuit (emulsion generation, metal extraction, and emulsion breaking) were assessed in laboratory-scale batch tests. In single-stage extraction tests, emulsion membranes extracted up to 94 pct of the copper from solutions without pH adjustment, and 99.7 pct when the pH was maintained at about 2.5. Simulated two-stage crosscurrent and countercurrent circuits extracted all but 3 and 4 ppm of the original copper content, respectively. Extraction data from solutions containing mixtures of metals indicated a strong preference for Cu(2+) extraction when oxime-type extractants were used in the LEM; however, some coextraction of Fe(3+) and Zn(2+) was experienced. An electrostatic coalescer was used to break the copper-loaded emulsions for separation of the component phases. Up to 96 pct of the contained stripping solution (internal solution) containing the extracted copper was separated from the organic phase of the emulsion membrane. The recovered organic phase was recycled without apparent problems." - NIOSHTIC-2 NIOSHTIC no. 10010843
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