Characterisation and hydrometallurgical processing of nickel from tropical agromined bio-ore

Vaughan, James, Riggio, Justin, Chen, Jeff, Peng, Hong, Harris, Hugh H. and van der Ent, Antony (2017) Characterisation and hydrometallurgical processing of nickel from tropical agromined bio-ore. Hydrometallurgy, 169 346-355. doi:10.1016/j.hydromet.2017.01.012

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Author Vaughan, James
Riggio, Justin
Chen, Jeff
Peng, Hong
Harris, Hugh H.
van der Ent, Antony
Title Characterisation and hydrometallurgical processing of nickel from tropical agromined bio-ore
Journal name Hydrometallurgy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0304-386X
1879-1158
Publication date 2017-05-01
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.hydromet.2017.01.012
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 169
Start page 346
End page 355
Total pages 10
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Language eng
Abstract Hyperaccumulator plants ("metal crops") can be used for selective extraction of Ni from low-grade resources, thereby producing a high-grade "bio-ore". This so-called agromining (or phytomining) technology involves farming select metal crops on ultramafic soils, mineral wastes, or overburden that are sub-economic Ni resources for conventional extractive technology. Key to profiting from agromining is the efficient recovery of Ni and by-products from the bio-ore, either directly from freshly harvested biomass or from the ash after incineration. Bio-ore of wild grown specimens of the Ni hyperaccumulator plants Rinorea bengalensis and Phyllanthus securinegoides were collected in Malaysia. After incineration, the ash composites contained 5.5.and 12.7 wt% Ni for Rinorea and Phyllanthus respectively, along with substantial amounts of Ca, K, C, Mg, P, Na, S and Cl. Other minor impurities included Si, Fe, Al, Mn and Zn. The solids were characterised in detail by SEM-EDS, XRD and XANES. The effect of solution chemistry on the leaching behaviour of the bio-ore (dried biomass and ash) was also assessed. A hydrometallurgical process for recovering Ni from the bio-ore was then demonstrated. The processes involves the bio-ore (ash) being water-washed, yielding >90% recovery of K to solution. After water washing, >95% Ni recovery was achieved by H2SO4 leaching at 60 degrees C, although long residence times and high acid concentrations were required. Ni(OH)(2) was then precipitated from solution using the K2CO3 rich wash-water. The bio-ore generated precipitant was compared with NaOH and MgO used industrially. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Formatted abstract
Hyperaccumulator plants (“metal crops”) can be used for selective extraction of Ni from low-grade resources, thereby producing a high-grade “bio-ore”. This so-called agromining (or phytomining) technology involves farming select metal crops on ultramafic soils, mineral wastes, or overburden that are sub-economic Ni resources for conventional extractive technology. Key to profiting from agromining is the efficient recovery of Ni and by-products from the bio-ore, either directly from freshly harvested biomass or from the ash after incineration. Bio-ore of wild grown specimens of the Ni hyperaccumulator plants Rinorea bengalensis and Phyllanthus securinegoides were collected in Malaysia. After incineration, the ash composites contained 5.5 and 12.7 wt% Ni for Rinorea and Phyllanthus respectively, along with substantial amounts of Ca, K, C, Mg, P, Na, S and Cl. Other minor impurities included Si, Fe, Al, Mn and Zn. The solids were characterised in detail by SEM-EDS, XRD and XANES. The effect of solution chemistry on the leaching behaviour of the bio-ore (dried biomass and ash) was also assessed. A hydrometallurgical process for recovering Ni from the bio-ore was then demonstrated. The processes involves the bio-ore (ash) being water-washed, yielding > 90% recovery of K to solution. After water washing, > 95% Ni recovery was achieved by H2SO4 leaching at 60 °C, although long residence times and high acid concentrations were required. Ni(OH)2 was then precipitated from solution using the K2CO3 rich wash-water. The bio-ore generated precipitant was compared with NaOH and MgO used industrially.
Keyword Bio-ore
Phytomining
Agromining
Nickel
Tropical hyperaccumulator
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID ANR-10-LABX-21
ANR-14-CE04-0005
DE160100429
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Chemical Engineering Publications
HERDC Pre-Audit
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
 
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Created: Sun, 05 Mar 2017, 13:24:33 EST by Mr Antony Van Der Ent on behalf of Centre For Mined Land Rehabilitation