Hydrometallurgical Recovery of Critical Metals From Hardface Alloy Grinding Waste: A Laboratory Study
Description:As part of the Bureau of Mines program to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign suppliers of strategic and critical metals, research was conducted to improve technology for the recovery of critical metals from hardface alloy grinding waste, a form of superalloy scrap. This report describes a hydrometallurgical process that demonstrated on a laboratory scale that 79 pct of the chromium, 97 pct of the cobalt, 99 pct of the manganese, 99 pct of the nickel, and 90 pct of the tungsten could be recovered in chemical form from hardface alloy grinding waste. The process involved deoiling the grinding waste, followed by chloride-based dissolution of the deoiled material. A high-grade calcium tungstate (CaW04) product was recovered from the resultant leach residue by caustic leaching and precipitation. Iron, cobalt, man-ganese, and nickel chlorides were sequentially recovered from the leach liquor by solvent extraction. Amine extractants were used to extract the iron, cobalt, and manganese; decanal oxime was used to extract the nickel. Market-grade cobalt chloride (CoCI2), manganese chloride (MnC12), and nickel chloride (NiCl2) products could be produced directly from the resultant strip liquors. The final raffrnate was a relatively pure chromic chloride (CrCI3) solution that compared favorably with commercial solutions.
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