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Minerals 2015, 5(2), 298-313; https://doi.org/10.3390/min5020298

Demonstration Plant Equipment Design and Scale-Up from Pilot Plant of a Leaching and Solvent Extraction Process

School of Engineering, Chemical and Environmental Engineering Department, University of Seville, Camino de los Descubrimientos, Seville 41092, Spain
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Academic Editor: Anna H. Kaksonen
Received: 13 February 2015 / Revised: 13 May 2015 / Accepted: 19 May 2015 / Published: 28 May 2015
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Abstract

Germanium recovery from coal fly ash by hydrometallurgical procedures was studied at the pilot scale (5 kg of fly ash/h). Results were used to design the equipment of a demonstration-sized plant (200 kg of fly ash/h). The process is based on hydrometallurgical operations: firstly a germanium extraction from fly ash by leaching and a consequent Ge separation from the other elements present in the solution by solvent extraction procedures. Based on the experimental results, mass balances and McCabe-Thiele diagrams were applied to determine the number of steps of the solvent extraction stage. Different arrangements have been studied and a countercurrent process with three steps in extraction and six steps in elution was defined. A residence time of 5 min was fixed in both the extraction and elution stages. Volumetric ratios in extraction and stripping were: aqueous phase/organic phase = 5 and organic phase/stripping phase = 5, so a concentration factor of 25 is achieved. Mixers and decanters were completely defined. The maximum extracted and eluted germanium was estimated and a global efficiency of 94% was achieved. The cost-effectiveness of the equipment was estimated using the Lang factors. View Full-Text
Keywords: germanium; fly ash; pilot plant; design; scale up; hydrometallurgy germanium; fly ash; pilot plant; design; scale up; hydrometallurgy
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Arroyo, F.; Fernández-Pereira, C.; Bermejo, P. Demonstration Plant Equipment Design and Scale-Up from Pilot Plant of a Leaching and Solvent Extraction Process. Minerals 2015, 5, 298-313.

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