Extraction of Ga and Ge from zinc refinery residues in H2C2O4 solutions containing H2O2

Fupeng Liu, Zhihong Liu, Yuhu Li, Benjamin Wilson, Mari Lundström

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18 Citations (Scopus)
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A new oxalic acid (H2C2O4) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) based extraction process was developed to recover valuable metals - in particular Ga and Ge - from the zinc refinery residues. H2C2O4 and H2O2 leaching studies indicated that the selective leaching of metals in the residues, that primarily contain Zn, Cu, Fe, SiO2, Ga and Ge, can be achieved. Under the optimal leaching conditions ([H2C2O4] = 110 g/L, [H2O2] = 0.12 mol/L, L/S ratio = 8, T = 40 °C and t = 30 min), 99.32% of the Ga, 98.86% of the Ge and 30.25% of the Fe were leached out, whereas the leaching of Zn, Cu and Si only reached 0.30%, 0.82% and 0.43%, respectively. Concerning leachate purification, 98.31% of the iron could be removed in the form of FeC2O4·2H2O with minor losses of Ga and Ge (1.08% and 0.68%) using an ultrasound-assisted iron powder replacement method under optimal conditions. The Ga (99.36%) and Ge (99.89%) were subsequently extracted by tri(octyl-decyl)amine (N235). After extraction, the loaded organic phase was stripped of Ga (98.91%) and Ge (99.21%) into separate solutions using sequential treatments of 2 mol/L H2SO4 and 4 mol/L NaOH respectively. Based on these results, a process flow sheet of efficient separation and recovery of Ga and Ge is presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14–23
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Mineral Processing
Early online date21 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Zinc refinery residue
  • Separation
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Oxalic acid
  • Germanium
  • Gallium

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