Chemical consumption in uranium recovery by ion exchange

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 73, No. 814, 1980

J. BENNETT, E. BYLEVELD and A. HIMSLEY, Himsley Engineering Limited, Toronto, Ontario

With reference to the chemical constraints underlying the ion exchange process for uranium recovery, a generalized view is presented on the actual and the achievable efficiency of the process. The area considered is restricted to acid leach circuits in combination with nitrate, chloride or sulphuric acid elution. A comparison between actual plant results and the chemical requirements shows that:(a) Unless new and better ion exchange resins are developed, no dramatic change in equipment size and resin inventory is anticipated.(b) Elution efficiency, especially for sulphuric acid, may be improved considerably. More concentrated eluates may be produced at lower chemical consumption.A possibility of achieving additional purification solely by ion exchange is discussed.
Keywords: Hydrometallurgy, Ion exchange, Reagents, Uranium recovery, Leaching, Elution, Resins, Nitrates, Sulphuric acid, Chlorides.