Kinetics of uranium extraction from coffinite—A comparison with other common uranium minerals

H. S. Reynolds, R. Ram, M. I. Pownceby, Y. Yang, M. Chen, J. Tardio, L. Jones, S. K. Bhargava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

A synthetic coffinite was hydrothermally prepared and characterized before conducting a series of acid sulfate leach tests under conditions of relevance to uranium extraction. The results were then compared with similar studies on synthetic versions of the related U 4+ minerals uraninite (UO 2 ) and brannerite (UTi 2 O 6 ) to identify and differentiate the rate and U extraction among these important uranium minerals. Tests examining the influence of residence time on uranium dissolution from synthetic coffinite, uraninite and brannerite showed that under similar experimental conditions, complete dissolution of uranium from coffinite was obtained between 36 and 48 h. The activation energy for this reaction was calculated to be 38.4 kJ/mol. This represented a significantly slower rate of dissolution than that indicated for uraninite which dissolved in 3 h (E a =15.2 kJ/mol). The synthetic brannerite was leached at a much slower rate than the coffinite and reached a maximum dissolution of ∼18% U in 144 h (E a =42–84 kJ/mol). The clear differentiation in rates and U extraction among the three minerals is consistent with previous literatures which suggest that in terms of leachability, uraninite>coffinite>brannerite. It is expected that the presence of impurities in natural coffinites would further inhibit leachability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2135-2142
Number of pages8
JournalTransactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China
Volume28
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • acid leaching
  • brannerite
  • coffinite
  • extraction kinetics
  • uraninite

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