Because of the acute toxicity of Cr(VI)-bearing substances, the pollution problem caused by chromite process residue has become a worldwide concern. In the view of relevant studies, the technologies based on the alkali treatment cannot fundamentally resolve the pollution problem, because the oxidation of Cr(III) to Cr(VI) is unavoidable during chromite decomposition. In contrast, the oxidation of Cr(III) to Cr(VI) can be controlled by the sulfuric acid treatment of chromite, and the Cr(VI) pollution can be eliminated from the original source of production. Many research studies focusing on the resolutions of the key obstacles hindering the development of the sulfuric acid treatment process have been carried out, and significant progress has been achieved. In this study, a clean hydrometallurgical process without the generation of hexavalent chromium is demonstrated. First, the chromite was decomposed and leached by sulfuric acid solution in the presence of an oxidant. Then, iron was hydrothermally removed from the acid solution as the precipitate of jarosite. Finally, chromium salts were obtained by adjusting the basicity of the solution, separation and drying. With the aim of realizing industrialization, future research emphasis on the development of the sulfuric acid treatment process is proposed in this study.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited