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Mechanism of solvent extraction of metal ions by basic extractants

Ph D Defense
2022-01-18 13:30
KU Leuven, Arenbergkasteel, Aula Arenbergkasteel, 01.07 - Kasteelpark Arenberg 1
3001 Leuven, België

Promovendus/a: Rayco Lommelen

Promotor(en): Prof. dr. Koen Binnemans

To date, solvent extraction is the best available technology for metal separation on industrial scale. Solvent extraction involves two immiscible liquid phases: an aqueous and an organic phase containing organic molecules (extractant). A metal distributes between the aqueous and the organic phase based on its affinity for the organic and aqueous phase. There exist three types of extractants: acidic, neutral and basic ones. The metal extraction mechanism of basic extractants is typically described as an anion exchange process, in which a negatively charged metal species transfers from the aqueous to the organic phase and an anion transfers from the organic phase back to the aqueous phase. In this project, a better fitting metal extraction mechanism is proposed for basic extractants in which a neutral species transfers to the organic phase and there reacts with the basic extractant. The aim of the project is to find scientific evidence supporting this hypothesis. The chemical equilibria of the metal species in both the aqueous and organic phase are investigated and the metal extraction mechanism is described mathematically. These new insights in the extraction of metals make it possible to better predict metal extraction and metal separations by basic extractants.

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  • 2022-01-18 13:30

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