Investigation of dissolution kinetics of a Nigerian columbite in hydrofluoric acid using the shrinking core model

  • O Sanda
  • EA Taiwo
Keywords: columbite, tantalum, leaching, shrinking core model, PIXE


A study of the kinetics of the dissolution of a Nigerian columbite in hydrofluoric acid has been examined and an investigation on the quantitative leaching of the mineral was also carried out. The effects of some parameters such as acid concentration, contact time and temperature were investigated. Elemental analysis of the ore was done using Particle-induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) spectroscopy with 2.5 MeV protons and this showed the major elements in the ore to be Si (8.82 %), Fe (10.74 %), Mn (4.72 %), Ta (6.80 %),Nb (28.90 %) and W(2.61%), with K, Ni, Zn, Sr and Y occurring in traces. Experimental results indicate that the dissolution rate is chemical reaction controlled, with reaction order of 0.57. Dissolution of over 90 % of the columbite was achieved in 5 h, using 20 M HF at 90 oC with 100 µm particle sizes. Activation energy, Ea of 15.70 KJ.mole-1 was obtained for the process.

Chemical, Industrial, Materials, Mechanical, Metallurgical, Petroleum & Production Engineering

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eISSN: 2467-8821
print ISSN: 0331-8443