Direct reuse of rare earth oxalate precipitation mother liquor for rare earth leaching
Xiaoyan Wu 1,   Fang Zhou 2,   Jian Feng 2,   Xuemei Liu 2,   Zhenyue Zhang 2,   Ruan Chi 2  
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Central South University
Wuhan Institute of Technology
Ruan Chi   

Wuhan Institute of Technology, LiuFang Campus, No.206, Guanggu 1st road, Donghu New & High Technology Development Zone, Wuhan, Hube, 430205 Wuhan, China
Publication date: 2019-04-24
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2019;55(3):760–769
In the recovery process of rare earth (RE) from the weathered crust elution-deposited rare earth ore, ammonium sulfate is used as the leaching liquor to leach RE, and then the leachate containing RE3+ can be precipitated by oxalic acid and the RE oxalate precipitation mother liquor is reused for RE leaching process after removing the residual oxalic acid by precipitation with calcium hydroxide. However, the reuse process of precipitation mother liquor cannot proceed in the strong acid and alkali restricted areas and the discharge of mother liquor which contains a large amount of ammonium salt will cause ammonia-nitrogen waste and pollution. In order to realize the reuse of the precipitation mother liquor in this area, the direct reuse of RE oxalate precipitation mother liquor for RE leaching was investigated in this study. The RE oxalate precipitation process and the RE leaching process with oxalic acid were studied. The results showed that the residual oxalic acid concentration in the mother liquor can be controlled lower than 0.8 g/dm3 at pH 2-3 when the RE concentration in the leachate was 0.1- 1.5 g/dm3 and the RE precipitation rate reached to 94%. In addition, RE leaching efficiency was up to 90% while the oxalic acid concentration in the prepared mother liquor was 0.2-0.8 g/dm3, pH 2-3. Therefore, the precipitation mother liquor with oxalic acid concentration less than 0.8 g/dm3 could be directly reused for RE leaching. However, considering the different performance of RE ores, the recommended oxalic acid concentration in the direct used precipitation mother liquor was lower than 0.6 g/dm3.