Recovery of vanadium with urea in acidic medium

  • Hao PengEmail author
  • Liu Yang
  • Lilian Wang
  • Jing Guo
  • Bing Li
Original Paper


Classical hydrometallurgy methods such as chemical precipitation, ion exchange, solvent extraction and adsorption have been used to recover vanadium from aqueous solutions, but the last step of these methods involves precipitation with ammonium salts, which are harmful to the environment at high concentration. Therefore, here we tested urea as a new precipitant to replace ammonium salts. We studied the effect of various parameters on the precipitation efficiency of vanadium. Results showed that urea is hydrolyzed to form NH4+ in acidic medium at 90 °C. Then, NH4+ reacts with V6O162− and precipitates as (NH4)2V6O16. Nearly 95% of the vanadium was precipitated within 120 min in the system containing 2.8 g/L vanadium and n(CON2H4)/n(V) of 0.6. The Avrami model was used to describe crystallization kinetics and analysis of the dimensions of crystal growth. Model results show that the crystalline growth was one-dimensional and that the crystals were shaped in columns. Overall, this study introduced a new way for urea utilization as a new precipitant to recover vanadium.


Vanadium Precipitation Urea Hydrolysis 



This work was supported by the Science and Technology Project of Chongqing, China (No. cstc2018jcyjAX0018), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51804062) and Talent Introduction Project of Yangtze Normal University (No. 2017KYQD117).


  1. Anjass MH, Kastner K, Nagele F, Ringenberg M, Boas JF, Zhang J, Bond AM, Jacob T, Streb C (2017) Stabilization of low-valent iron(I) in a high-valent vanadium(V) oxide cluster. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 56(46):14749–14752. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Avrami M (1939) Kinetics of phase change I: general theory. J Chem Phys 7:1103–1112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Avrami M (1940) Kinetics of phase change II: transformation time relations for random distribution of nuclei. J Chem Phys 8:212–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bao S, Duan J, Zhang Y (2018) Recovery of V(V) from complex vanadium solution using capacitive deionization (CDI) with resin/carbon composite electrode. Chemosphere 208:14–20. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bashir A, Malik LA, Ahad S, Manzoor T, Bhat MA, Dar GN, Pandith AH (2019) Removal of heavy metal ions from aqueous system by ion-exchange and biosorption methods. Environ Chem Lett 17(2):729–754. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Celik FA, Kazanc S (2013) Crystallization analysis and determination of Avrami exponents of CuAlNi alloy by molecular dynamics simulation. Phys B 409:63–70. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Celik FA, Kazanc S, Ozgen S, Yildiz AK (2011) Investigating the crystallization process of a ternary alloy system with a new nano-cluster analysis by using molecular dynamics method. Solid State Sci 13(5):959–965. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Efremenko V, Shimizu K, Chabak Y (2013) Effect of destabilizing heat treatment on solid-state phase transformation in high-chromium cast irons. Metall Mater Trans A 44(12):5434–5446. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. El Hage R, Chauvet F, Biscans B, Cassayre L, Maurice L, Tzedakis T (2019) Kinetic study of the dissolution of vanadyl sulfate and vanadium pentoxide in sulfuric acid aqueous solution. Chem Eng Sci 199:123–136. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hermida L, Agustian J (2019) Slow release urea fertilizer synthesized through recrystallization of urea incorporating natural bentonite using various binders. Environ Technol Innov 13:113–121. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hu W, Wang L, Wu L, Zhang B, Guan H (1994) The activation energy and the Avrami exponent for crystallization in amorphous Fe70.45W1.55Si3B25. Phys B 203(1):147–150. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hubbes S-S, Danzl W, Foerst P (2018) Crystallization kinetics of palm oil of different geographic origins and blends thereof by the application of the Avrami model. LWT 93:189–196. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kang Q, Zhang Y, Bao S (2019) An environmentally friendly hydrothermal method of vanadium precipitation with the application of oxalic acid. Hydrometallurgy 185:125–132. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lübke M, Ding N, Powell MJ, Brett DJL, Shearing PR, Liu Z, Darr JA (2016) VO2 nano-sheet negative electrodes for lithium-ion batteries. Electrochem Commun 64:56–60. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Peng H, Liu Z, Tao C (2017a) Adsorption kinetics and isotherm of vanadium with melamine. Water Sci Technol 75(10):2316–2321. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Peng H, Liu Z, Tao C (2017b) Adsorption process of vanadium(V) with melamine. Water Air Soil Pollut 228(8):272. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Prathap K, Namasivayam C (2009) Adsorption of vanadate(V) on Fe(III)/Cr(III) hydroxide waste. Environ Chem Lett 8(4):363–371. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Shu J, Wu H, Chen M, Peng H, Li B, Liu R, Liu Z, Wang B, Huang T, Hu Z (2019) Fractional removal of manganese and ammonia nitrogen from electrolytic metal manganese residue leachate using carbonate and struvite precipitation. Water Res 153:229–238. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Smirnov MB, Kazimirov VY, Baddour-Hadjean R, Smirnov KS, Pereira-Ramos J-P (2014) Atomistic mechanism of phase transition in vanadium pentoxide. J Phys Chem Solids 75(1):115–122. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Wei Z, Liu D, Hsu C, Liu F (2014) All-vanadium redox photoelectrochemical cell: an approach to store solar energy. Electrochem Commun 45:79–82. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Wen J, Jiang T, Xu Y, Cao J, Xue X (2018) Efficient extraction and separation of vanadium and chromium in high chromium vanadium slag by sodium salt roasting-(NH4)2SO4 leaching. J Ind Eng Chem 71:325–327. Google Scholar
  22. Wen J, Jiang T, Zhou W, Gao H, Xue X (2019) A cleaner and efficient process for extraction of vanadium from high chromium vanadium slag: leaching in (NH4)2SO4-H2SO4 synergistic system and NH4 + recycle. Sep Purif Technol 216:126–135. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Xiang J, Huang Q, Lv X, Bai C (2018) Extraction of vanadium from converter slag by two-step sulfuric acid leaching process. J Clean Prod 170:1089–1101. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Yang X, Zhang Y, Bao S, Shen C (2016) Separation and recovery of vanadium from a sulfuric-acid leaching solution of stone coal by solvent extraction using trialkylamine. Sep Purif Technol 164:49–55. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ye G, Hu Y, Tong X, Lu L (2018) Extraction of vanadium from direct acid leaching solution of clay vanadium ore using solvent extraction with N235. Hydrometallurgy 177:27–33. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Zadorozhnyy VY, Klyamkin SN, Zadorozhnyy MY, Bermesheva OV, Kaloshkin SD (2014) Mechanical alloying of nanocrystalline intermetallic compound TiFe doped by aluminum and chromium. J Alloy Compd 586:S56–S60. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Zhang X, Fang D, Song S, Cheng G, Xue X (2019a) Selective leaching of vanadium over iron from vanadium slag. J Hazard Mater 368:300–307. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Zhang Y, Zhang TA, Dreisinger D, Lv C, Lv G, Zhang W (2019b) Recovery of vanadium from calcification roasted-acid leaching tailing by enhanced acid leaching. J Hazard Mater 369:632–641. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Zhu X, Li W, Zhang Q, Zhang C, Chen L (2018) Separation characteristics of vanadium from leach liquor of red mud by ion exchange with different resins. Hydrometallurgy 176:42–48. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chongqing Key Laboratory of Inorganic Special Functional Materials, College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringYangtze Normal UniversityChongqingChina

Personalised recommendations