2020年8月11日星期二

How to Extract Rare Element Rubidium with Phosphotungstic Acid

 Rubidium, as a rare and weak alkali metal element, has been widely used in organic catalysts, photomultiplier tubes, special glass and anticancer drugs.

extraction of rare element rubidium by phosphotungstic acid image

Rubidium does not have independent minerals, often and other alkali metals coexist in lithium mica, cesium garnet, lithium cesium garnet, natural carnallite, salt lake brine and underground brine. Because of the coexistence of rubidium and sodium and cesium, which are closely related to the physical and chemical properties, the extraction technology of rubidium is very difficult, which results in a large amount of brine rubidium resources not being rationally utilized.

The common methods for separation of rubidium and cesium are fractional crystallization, precipitation, solvent extraction and ion exchange. In industrial production, precipitation method is used to separate rubidium and cesium, which is mainly used to separate rubidium and cesium from high content solution. Solvent extraction is easy to realize continuous operation and has great potential for application.

Extractant is the most important extractant. Some scholars believe that the salts of heteropoly acids such as phosphotungstic acid and phosphorus molybdate have higher selectivity to rubidium and cesium. However, since the powder is too fine and unsuitable for the continuous operation of the exchange column, it is difficult to be used in the actual production process. Therefore, it is an ideal way to prepare the composite adsorbent by loading the heteropoly acid salt on other carriers.

Some scholars used calcium alginate as carrier and ammonium phosphate as active component to extract rubidium and cesium directly from mother liquor, the research shows that the composite adsorbent can extract Rb+ directly from the mother liquor containing about ten thousand times of impurities. The extraction rate of RbCl is above 92%, the desorption rate is nearly 100%, and it can be reused again and again.

At present, the total reserves of rubidium (excluding rubidium in seawater) are about 10 million 770 thousand tons, of which more than 92% and about 10 million tons exist in Saline Lake, in view of the role of rubidium and the reserves of rubidium, the rubidium resources in the brine of Saline Lake will be the focus of future development, and the solvent extraction method with ammonium phosphotungstate is the most promising method of industrial application.

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