Thermodynamic modeling of neodymium and cerium oxalates reactive precipitation in concentrated nitric acid media

Abstract : Rare earth oxalates precipitation is extendedly used in hydrometallurgical processes related to rare earth recycling methods and treatment of radioactive liquid wastes, where rare earth elements are separated from other fission products. For a deeper comprehension of this reactive precipitation process, the thermodynamic modeling of the oxalate-rare earth systems in nitric acid aqueous media is presented for neodymium and cerium systems, due to their distinctive relevance among the rare earth elements. A Pitzer model was selected for the modeling, which was developed using the implementation present within PHREEQC software. Calculations were launched through a COM interface with Matlab® and PHREEQC database was complemented by adjustment of the individual Pitzer coefficients for each species interaction to experimental data reported in literature and own experimental water activity measurements required to complete the study. The implemented model is able to accurately predict oxalate-rare earth solubility in a wide range of rare earth and nitric acid concentrations up to >10 m.
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Isaac Rodríguez-Ruiz, Sébastien Teychené, Youen Vitry, Béatrice Biscans, Sophie Charton. Thermodynamic modeling of neodymium and cerium oxalates reactive precipitation in concentrated nitric acid media. Chemical Engineering Science, Elsevier, 2018, 183, pp.20-25. ⟨10.1016/j.ces.2018.03.007⟩. ⟨hal-01951511⟩

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