X GROUP is happy to announce yet another refinement to our considerable ion exchange capabilities. A new process development led by lead metallurgical engineer Phumi Motha is under way at IPEX, employing freeze crystallisation for increasing vanadium eluate concentrations.
ENVEX eluates produced under a tolling agreement with a primary producer site in South Africa range from 110 g/l up to 130g/l NaVO3. The new freeze crystallisation process allows separation of NaVO3 crystalline slurries from a clear supernatant which can be recycled back to IX stripping. The new addition can be retrofitted onto our existing IX circuit which will yield PLS tenors of up to 58% in saturated slurry (587g/l NaVO3) to the considerable benefit of the client water balances where production throughput is usually volumetrically constrained.
The X GROUP vanadium flowsheet relies on a carefully optimised simulated moving bed ion exchange process (SMB IX) to chromatographically isolate, purify and concentrate base metals targeted in process effluents, dilute leachates and tailings seepages. Our new freeze crystallisation capability allows production of PLS tenors unheard of in primary vanadium circuits which adds hugely to the value proposition of ENVEX rendering vanadium toll recovery services to primary producers.
The new technology also unlocks opportunity for viable reprocessing of a range of secondary resources including spent catalysts, fly ash, petcoke cinder, graphite flotation tailings and others.
IPEX freeze crystallisation promises attractive logistics for shipping concentrated intermediate vanadate slurries recovered from distributed quantities of secondary resources to a central refinery thereby achieving acceptable economies of scale.
X GROUP is engaging with primary producers to confirm interest in our latest innovations.