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ArticleName Electromembrane process for cerium isolation from the bulk concentrate of rare-earth metals
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2015.10.12
ArticleAuthor Kondrateva E. S., Kolesnikov V. A., Gubin A. F., Pozdeev S. S.

D. Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia, Moscow, Russia:

E. S. Kondrateva, Researcher
V. A. Kolesnikov, Professor, Rector
A. F. Gubin, Researcher, e-mail:
S. S. Pozdeev, Post-Graduate Student of a Chair of Electrochemical Production Technology


REM separation and obtaining of individual high-purity metals is difficult. Several flow sheets of REM separation include the methods of fractional precipitation of metal hydroxides, liquid extraction and re-extraction, sorption methods, electrolysis from melts etc. In most cases, processing of REMcontaining concentrates is started from the Ce ion separation, because its content is larger, than other element content. The process of electrochemical oxidation of Ce (III) – Ce (IV) ions in nitric acid solutions was considered for the purpose of further separation from accompanying REM. There is shown the installation diagram and procedure of the process in membrane electrolyser with platinized niobium anode. The optimal technological parameters were defined, which showed the possibility of electrochemical oxidation with anode current density of 2 A/dm2, electrolyte temperature of 20 °C, free NHO3 concentration of 10–15 g/l and a number of electrolyte exchanges in electrolyser chambers of 250 h–1. After dissolution of industrial raw materials, consisting of REM carbonates, there were obtained the nitric acid solutions, where Ce (III) ion oxidation is quantitative with current output of 65%. There was made an assessment of consumption of electric power, required for 1 kg of cerium oxidation. There was offered the scheme of the process, making possible to keep anolyte and catholyte pH values permanent. 90% of Ce (IV) ions may be isolated from the bulk concentrate using sedimentation in metal hydroxide form.
This work was carried out with the financial support of Ministry of Science and Education of Russian Federation within the Agreement about the subsidization No. 14.574.21.0110 of October 20, 2014 (unique identifier of the Agreement is RFMEFI57414X0110).

keywords Carbonates, REM, cerium, electrochemical oxidation, cerium separation, membrane electrolyzer, nitric acid solutions

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