Features of Waste Chemical Processing Germanium Concentrates


In order to increase the extraction of germanium in the technology of production of germanium concentrates, as well as finding ways to eliminate the accumulation of toxic waste using modern techniques and equipment, the physical and chemical properties of waste chemical processing of germanium concentrates (OHGC) of two domestic enterprises were experimentally studied. The main components of OHGC are: sulphate hemihydrate CaSO4·0.5H2O and hypochlorite Ca(OCl)2 calcium. The moisture content of the sludge amounted to 30–50 %. The content of germanium in the cakes of both companies is in the range of 0.20 and 0.27 %, respectively, indicating the feasibility of recovery in the Ge. At the same time, the samples of cakes differ significantly in the content of impurities, which depends on the types of raw materials in the preparation of concentrates. Granulometric composition of cakes is characterized by high dispersion. With an average diameter of 12 μm, all particle sizes are in the range of 0.5-15 μm. The distribution of particle sizes is shifted in interval of 0–15 μm, and the area of the particles less than 3 μm is not more than 10 %. The high dispersion of the cake is reflected in the specific surface area, which is 23.7 m2/g. Thermographic study found that the heating of the sample cake is accompanied by two endothermic effects of dehydration at 110 and 145–168 ∘C calcium sulfate and hypochloride semihydrate with corresponding weight loss of 13.1 and 12.9 %. The presence of toxic impurities (arsenic, zinc and lead), as well as chlorine, presents significant challenges for the development of disposal technology with the extraction of germanium. Assuming that the undiscovered part of the germanium in the concentrate is compounds or solid solutions with silicon dioxide, an effective technology should include their reagent high temperature treatment.

Keywords: waste, germanium concentrate, chemical processing, waste, physical and chemical properties

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