Application of Inorganic Ion Exchangers to Metallurgy
Description:The Bureau of Mines surveyed a variety of inorganic ion-exchange materials to determine their suitability for removing valuable accessory elements and troublesome contaminants from metallurgical process and waste streams. Most of the materials, which included molecular sieves, heteropolyacid salts, and hydrous metal oxides, did not give adequate separations, did not have the necessary stability in strong acids or bases, or were not in a physical form suitable for ion-exchange use. Many of the suitable inorganic materials, especially the hydrous oxides, were capable of cation exchange with high capacity only in basic conditions, which caused hydrolysis of most of the cations tested. Multivalent anions, such as arsenate and phosphate, were easily removed from acidic solutions by hydrous oxides. Hydrous zirconia was the best material for this purpose. Multivalent anions were not easily des orbed because of compound formation; therefore, conventional ion-exchange techniques could not be employed. As an alternative approach, hydrous ferric hydroxide was used as a filter material to remove arsenate and phosphate from acid solutions. One gram of arsenic was removed from solution for each 20 g of ferric hydroxide. Ferric hydroxide is preferable to hydrous zirconia for use as a filter material because of low cost.
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