Solubility of Eskisehir thorium/rare earth ores in sulphuric and nitric acids
Ilgin Kursun 1  
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Department of Mining Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Istanbul University, 34320, Avcilar, Istanbul, Turkey
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Ilgin Kursun   

Istanbul University, Istanbul University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mining Engineering Avcilar, 34320 Istanbul, Turkey
 
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2018;54(2):476–483
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ABSTRACT
Nuclear energy is considered as one of the most important energy resources in the world. Thorium (Th) has a significant potential to be used in electricity production by nuclear energy since its existence is not depended on the presence of another radioactive elements, and it has larger potential reserves than uranium. Bastnaesite ((Ce, La)CO3F) is one of the minerals from which Th can be economically extracted. In this study, solubility of bastnaesite containing ore obtained from Eskisehir, Turkey was investigated by leaching with H2SO4 and HNO3 in terms of leaching performance of thorium and some rare-earth elements (Ce, Nd, La). In this context, representative samples were taken from three different areas in Eskisehir-Kizilcaoren region, and a composite sample was prepared to be used for the leaching experiments. The effects of several parameters such as the solid ratio, leaching time, acid amount and pulp temperature, on dissolution efficiencies of Th, Nd, Ce and La was investigated. The best results were obtained using 3.42 mol/dm3 HNO3, solid–to–liquid ratio of 35%, 120 min leaching time and 60 oC temperature. Under these optimum conditions, the dissolution efficiencies of Th, Ce, Nd, and La were obtained as 94%, 82%, 77% and 70%, respectively.
 
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