University of Hertfordshire

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A review of acid recovery from acidic mining waste solutions using solvent extraction

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3374-3385
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Early online date1 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


The minerals industry is increasingly being forced by regulatory and cost pressures to reduce the amount of liquid acidic waste they produce. This requires a strong focus on waste reduction by recycling, regeneration and reuse. Four mineral acids were examined for recovery from waste acidic solutions including H 2SO 4, HNO 3, HCl, and H 3PO 4. The selection of the optimal extractant for acid recovery was based on extraction, stripping and scrubbing efficiencies. The extractants suitable for the recovery of H 2SO 4 and HCl are in the order of TEHA > Cyanex 923 > TBP > Alamine 336. TEHA has the highest degree of acid extraction and stripping compared with Cyanex 923 and almost 99% of the acid can be stripped. Alamine 336 can extract higher acid (for H 2SO 4 and HCl systems) than Cyanex 923 and TBP. However loaded acid for Alamine 336 system cannot be stripped using water at 60°C. For the recovery of nitric and phosphoric acids from acidic waste effluents, TBP was the best option. This work clearly demonstrates that extractant suitable for acid extraction may not be suitable for its recovery. However such extractant may be applied for the removal of acid from any waste acidic solution sacrificing the back extraction of the loaded acid. The effective implementation of options for acid recovery was examined to improve sustainability in the mineral industry.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Uchenna Kesieme, Andreas Chrysanthou, Maurizio Catulli, and Chu Yong Cheng, ‘A review of acid recovery from acidic mining waste solutions using solvent extraction’, Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, (2018), which has been published in final form at Under embargo until 1 July 2019. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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