Alumina Miniplant Operations-Separation of Aluminum Chloride Liquor From Leach Residue Solids by Classification and Thickening
Description:The Bureau of Mines has investigated the recovery of cell-grade alu-mina by RCI leaching of calcined kaolin in the alumina miniplant at its Boulder City (NV) Engineering Laboratory. Classification and thickening were used for separating aluminum chloride leach liquor from the siliceous residue generated in the acid leaching step of the clay-HCI process. Coarse solids were classified from fines at 115 mesh and countercurrently washed in three additional spiral classifiers. Fines were treated in a conventional five-thickener, countercurrent decantation circuit. When this method was applied to the solids-liquid separation of slurry from RCI leaching of minus lO-mesh calcined kaolin, 75 pct of the residue reported as classifier sands and 25 pct as thickener underflow. Predicted individual classifier and thickener area requirements were 6 and 25 ft2/tpd, respectively. Total thickener circuit flocculant requirement was 2.4 lb/ton solids. Aluminum chloride pregnant liquor was produced that analyzed 8.4 pct A1203 and contained more than 97 pct of the alumina in the liquid phase of the slurry. Bench-scale settling tests were used to correlate fines content of leach residue to thickener area and flocculant requirements.
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