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Process and kinetics of the selective extraction of cobalt from high-silicon low-grade cobalt ore by ammonia leaching

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  • Received: 9 April 2020Revised: 4 August 2020Accepted: 6 August 2020Available online: 10 August 2020
  • In this study, an ammonia-based system was used to selectively leach Co from an African high-silicon low-grade Co ore. In this process, other elemental impurities were prevented from leaching; hence, the subsequent process was simple and environmentally friendly. The results revealed that the leaching ratio of Co can reach 95.61% using (NH4)2SO4 as a leaching agent under experimental conditions, which involved a (NH4)2SO4 concentration, reductant dosage, leaching temperature, reaction time, and liquid–solid ratio of 300 g/L, 0.7 g, 353 K, 4 h, and 6:1, respectively. The leaching kinetics of Co showed that the apparent activation energy of Co leaching was 72.97 kJ/mol (i.e., in the range of 40–300 kJ/mol). This indicated that the leaching of Co from the Co ore was controlled using an interfacial chemical reaction. The reaction orders of the particle size and (NH4)2SO4 concentration during leaching were 0.21 and 1.5, respectively. The leaching kinetics model of the Co developed in this study can be expressed as 1-(1-α)1/3 = 28.01 × 103×r0-1 × [(NH4)2SO4]1.5 × exp(-72970/8.314T).
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Process and kinetics of the selective extraction of cobalt from high-silicon low-grade cobalt ore by ammonia leaching

  • Corresponding authors:

    Zhi-feng Xu    E-mail: xu.zf@jxust.edu.cn

    Li-jie Chen    E-mail: 81191520@qq.com

  • Institute of Green Metallurgy and Process Intensification, Jiangxi University of Science and Technology, Ganzhou 341000, China
  • *. Both authors contribute equally to this work and share senior authorship

Abstract: In this study, an ammonia-based system was used to selectively leach Co from an African high-silicon low-grade Co ore. In this process, other elemental impurities were prevented from leaching; hence, the subsequent process was simple and environmentally friendly. The results revealed that the leaching ratio of Co can reach 95.61% using (NH4)2SO4 as a leaching agent under experimental conditions, which involved a (NH4)2SO4 concentration, reductant dosage, leaching temperature, reaction time, and liquid–solid ratio of 300 g/L, 0.7 g, 353 K, 4 h, and 6:1, respectively. The leaching kinetics of Co showed that the apparent activation energy of Co leaching was 72.97 kJ/mol (i.e., in the range of 40–300 kJ/mol). This indicated that the leaching of Co from the Co ore was controlled using an interfacial chemical reaction. The reaction orders of the particle size and (NH4)2SO4 concentration during leaching were 0.21 and 1.5, respectively. The leaching kinetics model of the Co developed in this study can be expressed as 1-(1-α)1/3 = 28.01 × 103×r0-1 × [(NH4)2SO4]1.5 × exp(-72970/8.314T).

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