Published: CABEQ 25 (3) (2011) 309–316
Paper type: Original Scientific Paper

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Separation of Copper from Chalcopyrite – Ammoniacal Leach Liquor Containing Copper, Zinc, and Magnesium by Supported Liquid Membrane

A. O. Adebayo and K. Sarangi

A low grade chalcopyrite ore was leached with H2O2/(NH4)2SO4 and the leach liquor contained 42.96 mol m–3 copper, 3.52 mol m–3 zinc and 11.23 mol m–3 magnesium. From this leach liquor separation of copper was carried out with supported liquid membrane using LIX84I as mobile carrier. Celgard 2400, a microporous polypropylene film was used as the solid support for the liquid membrane. The effect of pH of the feed solution and carrier concentration in membrane phase on copper flux was investigated. It was observed that copper flux increased from 0.92 to 6.31.10–5 mol m–2 s–1 with increase in pH of the feed solution from 1.5 to 3.0 but the flux decreased to 5.95.10–5 mol m–2 s–1 with increasing the feed solution pH to 3.5. Also, the copper flux increased with the increase of LIX 84I concentration (0.361 – 1.44 mol L–1) in the membrane phase from 1.02 to 6.60.10–5 mol m–2 s–1 and thereafter decreased to 5.23.10–5 mol m–2 s–1 at 1.805 mol L–1 LIX84I. From the slope analysis data, the number of hydrogen ions released and the number of extractant molecules associated with the extracted complex was determined. The forward reaction rate constant, k1 and aqueous film diffusion constant, kw were calculated to be 3.34.10–11/9.13.10–10 m s–1 and 2.40.10–6 m s–1, respectively. The separation factors PCu/PZn and PCu/PMg were calculated and reported in the paper.

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copper, supported liquid membrane, LIX 84I, permeation, diffusivity and flux