Advertisement

New approaches for efficient removal of some radionuclides and iron from rare earth liquor of monazite processing

  • E. M. El Afifi
  • E. H. Borai
  • A. M. Shahr El-DinEmail author
Original Paper
  • 30 Downloads

Abstract

In this article, new two approaches (A and B) are created for the efficient removal of the technically enhanced radium isotopes (228Ra, 226Ra and 223Ra), long-lived radioisotope of lead (210Pb), thorium (Th4+) and iron (Fe3+) from the rare earth chloride (RECl3) liquor produced during the monazite processing. In the first approach ‘A,’ elimination of the undesired species is achieved using a synergistic admixture of sulfate–sulfide solution (SO42−/S2− admixture), while the second approach ‘B’ is performed using an iodate solution (IO3) as a selective precipitating agent. The results indicated that 14% of radionuclides and Th(IV), 12% of Ln(III) and 40% of Fe(III) were removed from the RECl3 liquor at pH 3. In the first approach ‘A,’ the average percentage removal (%R) of all the undesired species reached ~ 96% using sulfate–sulfide admixture (0.058/0.04 mol/L). In the second approach ‘B,’ the average % R of all undesired species is improved and increased to ~ 99% using potassium iodate solution of 0.155 mol/L. Therefore, iodate solution is considered as an efficient and selective agent for the removal of Ra isotopes, 210Pb, Th(IV) and Fe(III) from RECl3 liquor without loss in Ln(III) at the optimized conditions. In this respect, promising results are obtained for the purification and production of Ln(III) using iodate solution or sulfate–sulfide admixture. Finally, the proposed two approaches are considered to be efficient not only to minimize the radiological human risks but also to eliminate the interfering of Th and Fe ions, to produce highly purified lanthanides from monazite ore.

Keywords

Monazite Lanthanides TENORM Treatment 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Authors are thankful to the Department of Analytical Chemistry and Control, Hot Laboratories and Waste Management Center for kind cooperation and help in providing necessary laboratory facilities to carry out this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Al-Areqi WM, Bahri CZ, Majid AA, Sarmani S (2016) Separation and radiological impact assessment of thorium in malaysian monazite processing. Malays J Anal Sci 20:770–776CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Asaduzzaman K, Khandaker MU, Amin YM, Bradley DA, Mahat RH, Nor RM (2014) Soil-to-root vegetable transfer factors for 226Ra, 232Th, 40K, and 88Y in Malaysia. J Environ Radioact 135:120–127.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2014.04.009 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ault T, Krahn S, Croff A (2015) Radiological impacts and regulation of rare earth elements in non-nuclear energy production. Energies 8:2066–2081.  https://doi.org/10.3390/en8032066 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Borai EH, Abd El-Ghany MS, Ahmed IM, Hamed MM, Shahr El-Din AM, Aly HF (2016a) Modified acidic leaching for selective separation of thorium, phosphate and rare earth concentrates from Egyptian crude monazite. Int J Miner Process 149:34–41.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.minpro.2016.02.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Borai EH, Shahr El-Din AM, El Afifi EM, Aglan RF, Abo-Aly MM (2016b) Subsequent separation and selective extraction of thorium (IV), iron (III), zirconium (IV) and cerium (III) from aqueous sulfate medium. S Afr J Chem 69:148–156.  https://doi.org/10.17159/0379-4350/2016/v69a18 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Borai EH, El Afifi EM, Shahr El-Din AM (2017) Selective elimination of natural radionuclides during the processing of high grade monazite concentrates by caustic conversion method. Korean J Chem Eng 34(4):1091–1099.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11814-016-0350-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chenghui MA (2013) Radiation safety regulatory policy and rule for NORM industries in China. In: Proceedings of an international symposium on naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM VII), Beijing, China, 22–26 April, pp 241–252Google Scholar
  8. Currie LA (1986) Limits for qualitative detection and quantitative determination application to radiochemistry. Anal Chem 40:586–593.  https://doi.org/10.1021/ac60259a007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. El Afifi EM, Awwad NS (2005) Characterization of the TE-NORM waste associated with oil and natural gas production in Abu Rudeis, Egypt. J Environ Radioact 82(1):7–12.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2004.11.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. El Afifi EM, Borai EH (2006) Performance characteristics of sequential separation and quantification of lead-210 and polonium-210 by ion exchange chromatography and nuclear spectrometric measurements. J Environ Qual 35:568–574.  https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2005.0223 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. El Afifi EM, Hilal MA, Khalifa SM, Aly HF (2006) Evaluation of uranium (U), thorium (Th), potassium (K-40) and emanated radon (Rn-222) in some NORM and TE-NORM samples. Radiat Meas 41(5):627–633.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radmeas.2005.09.014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. El Afifi EM, Hilal MA, Borai EH (2015) Comparative study for measurement of environmental natural radioactivity in the crude phosphoric acid using nuclear and non-nuclear techniques. J Environ Chem Eng 3(4 (Part A)):2909–2916.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jece.2015.10.034 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. El Afifi EM, Khalil M, El-Aryan YF (2018) Leachability of radium-226 from industrial phosphogypsum waste using some simulated natural environmental solutions. Environ Earth Sci 77:94.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-018-7277-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hamed MM, Hilal MA, Borai EH (2016) Chemical distribution of hazardous natural radionuclides during monazite mineral processing. J Environ Radioact 162–163:166–171.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2016.05.028 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hua L, Pan Z (2012) NORM Situation in non-uranium mining in China. Ann ICRP 41:343–351.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icrp.2012.06.015 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) (2006) Assessing the need for radiation protection measures in work involving minerals and raw materials. In: Safety reports series no. 49, pp 1–66Google Scholar
  17. IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) (2014) Safety standards for protecting people and the environment. Radiation protection and safety of radiation sources. General safety requirements No. GSR Part 3, p 128Google Scholar
  18. Ishimori Y, Lange K, Martin P, Mayya YS, Phaneuf M (2013) Measurement and calculation of radon releases from NORM residues. Technical reports series no. 474, p 5. IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), ViennaGoogle Scholar
  19. Khandaker MU, Jojo P, Kassim H, Amin Y (2012) Radiometric analysis of construction materials using HPGe gamma-ray spectrometry. Radiat Prot Dosim 152(1–3):33–37.  https://doi.org/10.1093/rpd/ncs145 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kolo MT, Binti Abdul Aziz SA, Khandaker MU, Asaduzzaman K, Amin YM (2015) Evaluation of radiological risks due to natural radioactivity around Lynas advanced material plant environment, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22(17):13127–13136.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-4577-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Marczenko Z, Balcerzak M (2000) Separation, preconcentration and spectrophotometry in inorganic analysis, 1st edn. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 227–477Google Scholar
  22. Mellodee A, Susan AB, Gordon DM (2015) The deportment of uranium decay chain radionuclides during processing of an Australian monazite concentrate using a caustic conversion route. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 303:1393–1398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Olmsted J, Williams G (eds) (2007) Chemistry. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 5th edn. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  24. Pillai PMB (2007) Naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) in the extraction and processing of rare earths. In: Proceedings of the international symposium on NORM, Seville, Spain, 19–22 March, IAEA TECDOC, p 197Google Scholar
  25. Rim KT, Koo KH, Park JS (2013) Toxicological evaluations of rare earths and their health impacts to workers: a literature review. Saf Health Work 4:12–26.  https://doi.org/10.5491/SHAW.2013.4.1.12 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Salbu B, Skipperud L, Lind OC (2015) Sources contributing to radionuclides in the environment: with focus on radioactive particles. In: Walther C, Gupta DK (eds) Radionuclides in the environment. Springer, Basel, pp 1–36.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-22171-7_1 Google Scholar
  27. Schmidt G (2013) Description and critical environmental evaluation of the REE refining plant LAMP near Kuantan/Malaysia. Radiological and non-radiological environmental consequences of the plant’s operation and its wastes. Report prepared on behalf of NGO “Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas” (SMSL), Kuantan/Malaysia by Öko-Institute. V. D-10179 Berlin, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  28. Schmidt G (2015) Rare earth ore refining in Kuantan/Malaysia—the next legacy ahead? In: Merkel BJ, Arab A (eds) Uranium—past and challenge. Springer, Basel, pp 281–288.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-11059-2_32 Google Scholar
  29. Shahr El-Din AM, Borai EH, Abd El-Ghany MS (2018) Selective separation of thorium from rare earth elements liquor during the alkaline processing of egyptian monazite concentrate. Main Group Chem 17(1):79–88.  https://doi.org/10.3233/mgc-180250 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Shoesmith DW (1984) The behavior of radium in soil and in U mine-tailings. White shell Nuclear Research Establishment. Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. AECL-7818, pp 1–68Google Scholar
  31. Speight JG (2005) Lange’s handbook of chemistry, 16th edn. McGraw-Hill, New York, pp 331–342Google Scholar
  32. Strachnov V, Valkovic V, Zeisler R, Dekner R (1991a) Report on the inter comparison run IAEA-314: 226Ra, Th and U in stream sediment. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), ViennaGoogle Scholar
  33. Strachnov V, Valkovic V, Zeisler R, Dekner R (1991b) Report on the inter comparison run IAEA-312: 226Ra, Th and U in soil. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), ViennaGoogle Scholar
  34. USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) (2013) Basic information about radionuclides in drinking waterGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. M. El Afifi
    • 1
  • E. H. Borai
    • 1
  • A. M. Shahr El-Din
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Analytical Chemistry and Control, Hot Laboratories and Waste Management Center (HLWMC)Atomic Energy AuthorityCairoEgypt

Personalised recommendations