The removal of Fe from the reduced ilmenite via aeration leaching - assessing the effect of operating parameters
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Universiti Sains Malaysia
Publication date: 2021-10-23
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Nurul Ain Jabit   

Universiti Sains Malaysia
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2021;57(6):186-199
An upgrade of Malaysian ilmenite (FeTiO3) concentrate to synthetic rutile (TiO2) using aeration leaching was investigated in this study. Carbothermal reduction using Sarawak Mukah-Balingan coal and compressed National Gas (CNG) as a reductant was used to produce reduced ilmenite (RI) as an intermediate phase consisting of titanium oxide matrix with metallic iron prior to aeration leaching. Metallic iron was dissolved in ammonium chloride solution after the reduction process, separating synthetic rutile in the leaching residue. This study aims to evaluate the leaching parameters, such as concentration, temperature, and leaching time. The optimum conditions established by the design of the experiment (DOE) and the analysis of variance (ANOVA) has indicated that leaching temperature was the most significant parameter for iron dissolution. It was found that iron dissolution at a maximum value of 97.0% was achieved at an optimum condition of 0.5 M NH4Cl at 90°C for 7 hours. With an initial weight of 46 wt.%TiO2 and 37 wt.% Fe2O3, ilmenite was successfully upgraded to 80 wt.% and 8 wt.%, respectively. In conclusion, Malaysian ilmenite has a high potential value to be upgraded to synthetic rutile by aeration leaching with ammonium chloride via Becher process.
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