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ArticleName Ion-exchange sorption in the hydrometallurgy of rhenium: a review
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2019.10.03
ArticleAuthor Blokhin А. А., Mikhaylenko M. A.

Saint Petersburg State Institute of Technology, Saint Petersburg, Russia:

А. А. Blokhin, Head of the Department of Rare Elements Engineering and Nanomaterials on Their Basis, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, e-mail:


Representative office of Purolite Ltd in the CIS, Moscow, Russia:
М. А. Mikhaylenko, Hydrometallurgy Manager, Candidate of Chemical Sciences


The aim of this research is to provide a literature review on the application of ion exchange sorption in the hydrometallurgy of rhenium. This paper contains some historical information about the discovery of rhenium; provides a brief overview of its main applications, production scale and main sources; analyses the role of ion exchange sorption for extraction rhenium from various types of ores and secondary raw materials, as well as for purifying its compounds; examines the application of activated carbon and ion exchange resins for extracting rhenium from various solutions. A particular focus is given to ion exchange resins as the most effective instruments in rhenium extraction. The authors discuss what causes the anion exchange sorbents’ selectivity for rhenium and compare the selectivity of strong and weak basic anionites for rhenium, as well as the desorption techniques for elution rhenium from anionites of various basicity. Special weak base ion exchange resins would be the preferred option considering their selectivity and capacity with regard to rhenium and in terms of efficiency of rhenium desorption and processing the desorbates to obtain ammonium perrhenate. The paper outlines the key characteristics required from weak base anion exchange resins designed for rhenium extraction. Ways to control their selectivity are also discussed. The paper analyses the information on weak base resins and ampholytes that are selective for rhenium and that were used before and are in use now; provides information about the application of ion exchange sorption for extracting rhenium as a by-product in copper smelting, processing of molybdenite concentrates, in-situ leaching of uranium and processing of secondary raw materials; examines some new developments related to the synthesis of ion exchange materials for rhenium extraction.

keywords Rhenium, ammoni um perrhenate, extraction, separation, purification, sorption, desorption, activated carbon, ion exchange resins, ampholytes

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