Preparation of a mixed Al/Sc nano-oxide derived from the bauxite residue (red mud) via the sulfuric acid roasting–leaching–precipitation process
Keywords:Bauxite residue, Red mud, Sulfuric acid roasting, Precipitation, Al/Sc nano-oxide
In this study, three methods were used and compared for the selectable extraction of aluminum/ scandium with the least amount of iron in red mud (RM) samples from the Iran alumina plant in Jajarm as follows: 1) RM direct acid leaching with H2SO4, 2) RM washing with hydrochloric acid and oxalic acid before leaching with H2SO4, and 3) RM sulfuric acid roasting-leaching-precipitation. The aim was to extract the highest amount of scandium while preventing the leaching of other metals, especially iron. Due to any discriminative features, the selective separation of Al/Sc with methods 1 and 2 was impossible practically. While, method 3 resulted in 73.7% of extracted scandium under optimal conditions with only 0.6% of iron found in the final product. The characterization of the final oxide product was done via inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and energy-dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX). The morphology of the oxide product was examined by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). This mixture oxide had a nanosize spherical shape and was distributed uniformly. The pH of the remaining red mud after the acid roasting-leaching-precipitation method was 8, which was far more environmentally desirable than the primary red mud with a pH = 12.
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