A study has been carried out on Ta and Nb recovery by a liquid-liquid extraction process using 4-methylacetophenone (4-MAcPh) as the organic phase. The 4-MAcPh was compared to methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) with respect to extraction efficiencies (D
values) at different concentrations of H2
in the aqueous phase. The results showed a similar extraction of Nb for both solvents. However, for Ta, extraction efficiency is increased by a factor of 1.3 for 4-MAcPh. In addition, the MIBK solubilized completely after 6 mol∙L−1
against only a loss of 0.14–4% for 4-MAcPh between 6 and 9 mol∙L−1
. The potential of 4-MAcPh has also been studied to selectively recover Ta from a model capacitor waste solution. The results showed a selectivity for Ta in the presence of impurities such as Ag, Fe, Ni and Mn. The 4-MAcPh also presents the advantage of having physicochemical properties adapted to its use in liquid-liquid extraction technologies such as mixer-settlers.
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