Extraction of Niobium from ore deposits in KPK, Pakistan
The extraction of Niobium through different extraction processes is reviewed in this paper. On the commercial scale the solvent extractants have been employed for the extraction of Niobium in the presence of hydrogen fluoride. But the emission of HF enhances the environmental impacts. In HF processes a proper disposal area is required for the production of huge amount of fluorspar sludge as a by-product and a special treatment method is required in order to reduce the environmental impacts. Alkali potash has been used for Niobium extraction in the absence of HF. In this paper different processes of Niobium extraction are reviewed and a suitable process is selected for application in Pakistan. The Niobium extraction processes are classified as direct leaching processes and hydrometallurgical processes. Different solvents which are used for extraction of Niobium in hydrometallurgical processes are compared and their properties evaluated.
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