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Dissolution and Separation of Aluminum and Aluminosilicates...

by Joanna Mcfarlane, Dennis E Benker, David W Depaoli, Leslie K Felker, Catherine H Mattus
Publication Type
Journal Name
Separation Science and Technology
Publication Date
Page Numbers
2803 to 2818

Selection of an aluminum alloy for target irradiation affects post-irradiation target dissolution and separations. Recent tests with aluminum alloy 6061 yielded greater than expected precipitation in the dissolver, forming up to 10 wt.% solids of aluminum hydroxides and aluminosilicates. Aluminosilicate dissolution presents challenges in a number of different areas, metals extraction from minerals, flyash treatment, and separations from aluminum alloys. We present experimental work that attempts to maximize dissolution of aluminum metal, along with silicon, magnesium, and copper impurities, through control of temperature, the rate of reagent addition, and incubation time. Aluminum phase transformations have been identified as a function of time and temperature, using X-ray diffraction. Solutions have been analyzed using wet chemical methods and X-ray fluorescence. These data have been compared with published calculations of aluminum phase diagrams. Approaches are given to enhance the dissolution of aluminum and aluminosilicate phases in caustic solution.