Minerals Engineering, vol.23, no.9, pp.685-690, 2010 (SCI-Expanded)
A two-step process for boron recovery from borax sludge is proposed in the present work. The borax sludge was leached with sulphuric acid solution. Then, for the removal of alkaline species from the leachate, calcium and magnesium were precipitated by adjusting the pH of leachate using 1.5 M NaOH and 1.5 M HCl solutions. The effects of pH, temperature, concentration and time on the precipitation process were investigated. It was determined that the calcium and magnesium concentrations in the leachate were reduced from 121 mg/L to 2.6 mg/L and from 145 mg/L to 4.0 mg/L, respectively, at a pH value of 12, a temperature of 70 °C, an initial boron concentration of 500 mg/L and a precipitation time of 3 h. Under these optimum conditions, it was observed that the boron concentration in the solution decreased very slightly. In this process, the alkaline species were successfully separated from the boron. Finally, borax pentahydrate (Na2B4O7·5H2O) was produced by the evaporation of the final solution obtained after precipitation process. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.