Hydrometallurgical Processing of Scandium Concentrate, December 2019

Purpose of developing and optimizing a sustainable solvent extraction process operation was to separate and purify scandium from a scandium concentrate generated in the II VI SIR Plant. The II-VI technology includes a selective-ion recovery (SIR) that is using a new composite extractant-enhanced ion-exchange resin to extract scandium from acidic solutions or slurries. The initial effluent solution of about 2m² containing 50 to 80 ml/L of scandium was provided by Tronox B.V. Botlek (NL). For the processing of the resulting scandium concentrate on a basis of scandium hydroxide (Sc(OH)3), MEAB’s mixer-settler mini-pilot plant in Aachen was used. The operation includes the following main steps: dissolution, hydrolysis, organic solvent conditioning, scandium extraction, scrubbing of impurities and scandium stripping. The mixer-settler pilot plant was operated by MEAB engineers in a continuous mode in a period of five days.

The solvent extraction strip liquor: About 50 kg of high-quality scandium loaded strip liquor on basis of ammonium scandium fluoride will be further treated by anti-solvent precipitation to collect (NH4)3ScF6 salt of high quality.

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