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Jacolien du Plessis

Antisolvent Crystallization of Rare Earth Sulphates Using a Fluidised Bed Reactor

Qualifications

2013 BSc Chemistry with Physics and Biology (University of the Free State)

2015 BSc(Hons) Chemistry (Nelson Mandela University)

2017 MSc Chemistry (Nelson Mandela University)


Project Description

The global supply vulnerability of rare earth elements (REE) is driving the need for innovative technologies to recover these vital resources. REE include the lanthanides along with yttrium and scandium. These metals are used for advanced improvements in products such as batteries, magnets and catalysts. Currently, hydrometallurgical processes lack selective and efficient REE recovery. Antisolvent crystallization can be exploited to recover pure compounds without excessive chemical use. An antisolvent lowers the solubility of a product in another solution causing it to crystallize. The high supersaturation induced by the antisolvent leads to high yields, however, this can come at the expense of the product size, producing fines. The process parameters will be investigated to allow for better control during crystallization to limit fine formation for improved liquid-solid separation. This work focuses on the development of an antisolvent crystallization process for the recovery of REE sulphates from sulphuric acid leach liquors.

Publications

Ngororabanga, J.M.V., Du Plessis, J. and Mama, N., 2017. Fluorescent Polymer Incorporating Triazolyl Coumarin Units for Cu2+ Detection via Planarization of Ict-Based Fluorophore. Sensors, 17 (9), 1980 - 1993