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Numerical Prediction of Cobalt Sorption in a Continuous Ion-Exchange Column
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  • Description:
    The Bureau of Mines investigated the feasibility of numerlcally modeling the sorption of cobalt, a vulnerable strategic and critical metal, from spent copper leach solutions in a multiple-compartment ion-exchange (MCIX) column. Equilibrium resin loadings, cobalt-sorption kinetics, and resin-fluidization characteristics were determined in simple laboratory tests, and a numerical model was developed to predict cobalt extraction and the MCIX-column resin inventory based upon the test results. The model was implemented on a microcomputer to approximate the solution to the set of differential equations that govern model performance. Results compared very well with data from 12 pilot-scale MCIX-column experiments. The average difference between predicted and actual cobalt extractions was 3.2 pct; the maximum difference was 9.3 pet. The actual and predicted resin inventories differed by an average of 5.8 pet, and the maximum difference was 12.0 pct.

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