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Open AccessArticle

An Experimental Study of Membrane Contactor Modules for Recovering Cyanide through a Gas Membrane Process

1
Advanced Mining Technology Center (AMTC), University of Chile, Av. Tupper 2007 (AMTC Building), Santiago 8370451, Chile
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Materials, University of Chile, Av. Beauchef 851, Santiago 8370456, Chile
3
Programa Institucional de Fomento a la Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación, Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana, Ignacio Valdivieso 2409, San Joaquín, Santiago 8940577, Chile
4
Department of Chemistry, Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana, Las Palmeras 3360, Ñuñoa, Santiago 7800003, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050105
Received: 29 April 2020 / Revised: 13 May 2020 / Accepted: 16 May 2020 / Published: 19 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Gas Separation)
Cyanide is one of the main reagents used in gold mining that can be recovered to reduce operational costs. Gas membrane technology is an attractive method for intensifying both the stripping and absorption processes of valuable compounds, such as cyanide. However, scaling-up this technology from laboratory to industry is an unsolved challenge because it requires the improvement of the experimental methodologies that replicate lab-scale results at a larger scale. With this purpose in mind, this study compares the performance of three different hollow fiber membrane contactor modules (1.7 × 5.5 Mini Module, 1.7 × 10 Mini Module, and 2.5 × 8 Extra Flow). These are used for recovering cyanide from aqueous solutions at laboratory scale, using identical operational conditions. For each experimental set-up, mass-transfer correlations at the ranges of feed flows assayed were determined. The modules with the smallest and largest area of mass transfer reached similar cyanide recoveries (>95% at 60 min), which demonstrate the impact of module configuration on their operating performance. The results obtained here are limited for scaling-up the membrane module performance only because operating modules with the largest area results in a low Re number. This fact limits the extrapolation of results from the mass-transfer correlation. View Full-Text
Keywords: gas membrane process; cyanide recovery; scaling-up; membrane modules gas membrane process; cyanide recovery; scaling-up; membrane modules
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MDPI and ACS Style

Quilaqueo, M.; Seriche, G.; Valetto, S.; Barros, L.; Díaz-Quezada, S.; Ruby-Figueroa, R.; Troncoso, E.; Estay, H. An Experimental Study of Membrane Contactor Modules for Recovering Cyanide through a Gas Membrane Process. Membranes 2020, 10, 105.

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