Integration of Ion-Exchange in Solvent Extraction
An advantages of applying Ion-Exchange technology in Solvent Extraction as a purification and separation step in metal production process, with the aim of further increasing the overall recovery processsing efficiency
Solvent Extraction (SX) process is a well-known technique, which is practiced commercially for approximately 40 years. China is a leader in application of the SX technique applying in metallurgy especially the rare earth metals separation. The main advantages of the SX process are the higher productivity and selectivity at removal and purification of metals. Despite the wide acceptance of SX, it does have some shortcomings. The most important is that the low grade or the highest purity solutions are very unattractive for treatment via SX process.
The integration of Ion-Exchange in Solvent Extraction could be the good solution to eliminate SX negative characteristics shown above. For example, Ion-Exchange can be applied in heavy rare earth metal processing in which they are often have very low-graded solutions. The rare elements such as Terbium and Dysprosium separation and purification from other impurities could be improved in order to upgrade their product values. The SX separation step can be reduced largely so that processing time can be shortened.