Nickel-Cobalt Separation By Ozonation

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 71, No. 798, 1978

C. Nikolic, P. B. Queneau, W. G. Sherwood, C. B. Barlow and C. S. Simons, AMAX Nickel Refining Company and AMAX Extractive Research & Development Inc., New Orleans, La., and Golden, Colo., U.S.A.

A process utilizing ozone for the precipitation of cobalt from nickel sulphate liquors containing ammonium sulphate has been developed. Best results were obtained using nickel carbonate to maintain solution pH at 5.0 to 5.5. Work was performed both in column and stirred-tank reactors. Variables studied included neutralizer type and concentration, NH4+ concentration, temperature, Ni++ and Co++ concentration, per cent O3 in the O2 carrier gas, O3 input rate and agitation. The over-all rate of cobalt rejection increased sharply with increasing agitation and ozone concentration in the gas phase, reflecting relatively slow transfer of ozone from the gas to the liquid phase.
Keywords: Hydrometallurgy, Nickel, Cobalt, Ozonation, Reactors, Agitators, Column reactors.