Parametric and Optimization Study of the Acid Extraction of Nickel from the Hyperaccumulator Plant Rinorea bengalensis

Author : Alfonso, Sophia Marie Quimado
Major Adviser : Detras, Monet Concepcion M.
Major Co-Adviser : Fernando, Edwino S.
Committee Members : Laurio, Michael Vincent O.; Alfafara, Catalino G.
Year : 2015
Month : December
Type : Thesis
Degree: BS
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The acid extraction of nickel from nickel hyperaccumulators is an important primary step in selective precipitation, which is a potentially profitable technique for the phytomining industry. Sulfuric acid extraction of nickel from the leaf ash of the hyperaccumulator plant Rinorea bengalensis was explored in a parametric and optimization study to determine optimum conditions of acid concentration, time, and ash loading for the nickel concentration in the leachate, and examine their effect on % nickel removal. It was concluded that time was insignificant while acid concentration, ash loading and their interaction were seen to be significant and exhibited a positive effect on the response. A sulfuric acid solution of 4.9 M and an ash loading of 251.13 g/L were ideal for obtaining a predicted nickel concentration of 29,635 ppm. A validation experiment yielded the value 29,755 ppm with percent relative error of 0.40%. Preliminary cost estimation for the acid extraction using these parameters gave a cost of PhP 56.35 per kilogram of ash treated while the cost of the maximum produced nickel sulfate for the crystallization step was calculated to be PhP 85.10, indicating that the operation was potentially applicable for commercial use.

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