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Removal of iron from quartz - development of a continuous integrated organic acid leach / effluent treatment system

Objective



Objectives and content

This industrial research project is directed at the processing and upgrading of quartz for glass manufacture by the removal of iron, using novel techniques and more particularly by the use of organic acids.

The industrial partners are now seeking to consolidate on previous successful work with this project, which will include the operation of continuous process units such that the steps of leaching and effluent treatment can be fully integrated. This will enable the process to be technically assessed particularly for the effects of recycle streams. A number of geologically different deposits, representative of quartz operations throughout the EU, will be evaluated and following the testwork it will be possible to complete a techno-economic evaluation.

The work is a logical extension of two previous EU programmes (laboratory testwork - under Contract MA2M-CT90-0014 and focused fundamental studies - under Contract BRE2-CT92-0215) which have demonstrated the feasibility of such a process. Those programmes established that organic acid can be used for the removal of iron to a level which will upgrade the minerals to saleable products, and also demonstrated that the iron/acid/sulphate bearing effluents, resulting from the leach, can be treated using biohydrometallurgical techniques. The development of a leaching process which uses organic acids would offer the opportunity of a cheaper method of removing iron from a high tonnage low cost product. The work will involve:

- Geological interpretation of the 3 deposits
- Sampling and characterisation
- Physical testing
- Leaching testwork
- Small scale continuous testwork
- Effluent treatment testwork
- Development of process flowsheets
- Design of on-site units
- Operation of on-site units
- Quality Assurance on products
- Study of health and safety aspects
- Testwork on utilisation of Fe waste products
- Techno-economic evaluation

The use of this alternative low cost leaching technique for the removal of iron from high tonnage low cost industrial mineral such as quartz will have a significant impact within the EU. In 1991 the market for quartz for the production of glass was in excess of ECU 20 Billion. These alternative techniques could be of commercial significance within a period of 3 years after
completion of this project.

The consortium comprises 3 suppliers of industrial minerals (FSS, IND-MIN and EMSA) each with different geological deposits and targeting different markets, a designer and manufacturer of
chemical plant (SEICO), a designer and manufacturer of effluent treatment systems (PAQUES), an industrial research laboratory (HCRC), 4 research centres/universities (ITM, UNAQ, ICSTM and NTUA) all of whom worked on the previous two research projects and whose expertise will be invaluable to the industrial
partners, and a very experienced specialist in the management of collaborative R&D programmes (MIRO), who managed the two EU
Contracts previously referred to.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Mineral Industry Research Organisation
Address
Expert Housesandford Street
WS13 6QA Lichfield
United Kingdom

Participants (9)

Ente Minerario Sardo
Italy
Address
Via 29 Novembre 41
09123 Cagliari
HELLENIC CEMENT RESEARCH CENTRE LTD.
Greece
Address
15,K. Pateli Str. 15
14123 Nea Ionia,atikis
IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE
United Kingdom
Address
Prince Consort Road, Royal School Of Mines Buildi
SW7 2BP London
Lava Mining and Quarrying SA
Greece
Address
49-51,S. Venizelou 49-51
14123 Lykovrysi
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF ITALY
Italy
Address
Via Bolognola 7
00138 Roma
NATIONAL TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS
Greece
Address
Zographou Campus
15780 Athens
PAQUES BIO SYSTEMS B.V.
Netherlands
Address
11-13,T. De Boerstraat 24
8560 AB Balk
Seico Srl
Italy
Address
Via G.a. Badoero 67
00154 Roma
UNIVERSITÀ DEGLI STUDI - L'AQUILA
Italy
Address
Monteluco Di Roio
67040 L'aquila