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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 286494, 5 pages
Research Article

Purification of Sulphate Leach Liquor of Spent Raneynickel Catalyst Containing Al and Ni by Solvent Extraction with Organophosphorus-Based Extractants

Urban Mining Research Team, Korea Institute of Geosciences and Minerals Resources (KIGAM), 92 Gwahang-no, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-350, Republic of Korea

Received 14 October 2011; Accepted 11 December 2011

Academic Editor: Cesar Mateo

Copyright © 2012 Satunuri Venkateswar Rao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Solvent extraction (SX) separation of Al from Ni sulphate leach liquor (LL) of spent Raneynickel catalyst containing 0.12 M Al and 1.448 M Ni using organophosphorus extractants has been investigated. Optimization of process conditions includes aqueous pH, extractant concentration, phase ratio, and stripping. Comparison of Al extraction efficiency with 0.45 M extractant concentration for TOPS 99, PC 88 A, and Cyanex 272 at an equilibrium pH of 2.23 was 81.8%, 98.6%, and 75%, respectively. The corresponding coextraction of Ni was 0.65, 0.6, and 0.9. Among the three extractants screened, PC 88A showed better extraction efficiency for Al at lower pH values than the others. Using 0.45 M PC 88 A, extraction isotherm was obtained at an aqueous-to-organic (A : O) phase ratio of 1 : 1–3 and O : A ratio of 1 : 1–5, which predicted possible separation of Al in 2 stages at A/O ratio of 2. Quantitative stripping was achieved by H2SO4.