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Extraction of Tantalum from locally sourced Tantalite using Polyethylene glycol solution

NS Maina
MS Ahmad


The ability of polyethylene glycol solution to extract tantalum from locally sourced tantalite ore was studied. The amount of tantalum pentoxide extracted increased with increase in concentration of Polyethylene glycol (PEG) solution from 28.08% to 60.23%. However, the amount of niobium pentoxide extracted increased from 0.1194% to a maximum of 40.52% at increasing concentration of PEG and dropped to 26.1477% at PEG solution concentration of 60%. The separation factor ß of tantalum pentoxide and niobium pentoxide at 30, 40, 50, and 60% PEG concentrations were 0.0031, 0.3110, 0.7874 and 0.2338 respectively. The distribution coefficient (D1) of tantalum pentoxide at 30, 40, 50 and 60% PEG concentrations were 0.3904, 0.6477, 0.8651 and 1.5145 respectively; while at
30, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60% PEG concentration the distribution coefficients (D2) of niobium pentoxide were 0.0012, 0.2014, 0.6812 and 0.3541 respectively.

KEYWORDS: Tantalum, tantalite, extraction, niobium, polyethylene glycol (PEG).