Purification of zirconyl sulfate by solvent extraction
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    "The Bureau of Mines has conducted bench-scale investigations leading to the design of an integrated process for producing reactor-grade zirconium oxide (zro2) from zircon sand, which avoids the air pollution, water pollution, fire hazard, and odor problems associated with the hexone-thiocyanate process. The integrated process consists of three steps: production of crude zirconyl sulfate solution, solvent extraction, and production of zro2 from strip liquor. This report describes the solvent extraction step. Multistage, countercurrent liquid-liquid extraction with a Tertiary amine in kerosine was used to separate zirconium from a dilute h2so4 solution containing hafnium and other impurities. Process steps described include extraction from an aqueous feed solution to form a hafnium-contaminated, zirconium-bearing organic-phase solution, scrubbing to separate zirconium from coextracted hafnium, stripping to transfer hafnium-free zirconium into an aqueous strip liquor, chloride-loading to produce a chloride-bearing organic solution, scrubbing with the chloride-loaded organic solution to remove traces of uranium impurity from the zirconium-bearing strip liquor, and regeneration to prepare the organic solution for reuse. These steps were performed simultaneously in steady-state, bench-scale experiments. Zirconium recovery of up to 93 pct was achieved. Results of an economic evaluation are included." - NIOSHTIC-2

    NIOSH no. 10003305

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