Direct conversion of alkaline earth metal hydroxides and sulfates to carbonates in ammonia solutions
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Şırnak University, Mining Engineering Department
Adana Alparslan Türkeş Science and Technology University, Mining Engineering Department
Hacettepe University, Mining Engineering Department
İlhan Ehsani   

Şırnak University, Mining Engineering Department
Publication date: 2021-12-29
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2022;58(1):169–180
In this study, the direct conversion behaviors of different alkaline earth metal solids (the hydroxides and the sulfates of alkaline earth metals Ca, Sr, Ba and Mg) to their corresponding carbonates in dissolved carbonate-containing pregnant solutions obtained by direct leaching of a smithsonite (ZnCO3) ore sample in aqueous ammonia solutions having different concentrations (4 M, 8 M and 13.3 M NH3) were investigated by using X-ray diffraction analyses at alkaline earth metal to dissolved carbonate mole ratios of 1:1 and 1:2, for revealing the conversion possibilities of dissolved carbonate in the pregnant solutions to solid carbonate by-products. The results of direct conversion experiments showed that Ca(OH)2, CaSO4·2H2O, Sr(OH)2·8H2O and Ba(OH)2·8H2O converted to their corresponding carbonates, SrSO4 partially converted to SrCO3 as observed by the presence of unreacted SrSO4 peaks in X-ray diffraction patterns of the converted solids, and BaSO4 did not convert to BaCO3 because of its lower solubility with respect to BaCO3. On the other hand, it was observed that Mg(OH)2 did not convert to MgCO3, but MgSO4·7H2O converted dominantly to an uncommon phase, which was tentatively identified as Mg5Zn3(CO3)2(OH)12·H2O. In the study, a complete discussion on the conversion behaviors of alkaline earth metal solids to their corresponding carbonates was given considering the differences between their solubility product constants and the changes in the free energies of the theoretical conversion reactions. In addition, infrared spectra and scanning electron microscope images of some of the converted solids were also presented for characterization purposes.