Recovery of scandium(iii) from diluted aqueous solutions by a supported ionic liquid phase (SILP)†
The adsorption of scandium from diluted, acidic solutions by a supported ionic liquid phase (SILP) was investigated, as part of a process for recovery of scandium from bauxite residue (red mud). Both dry impregnation and covalent linking were studied for the SILP preparation. The SILP betainium sulfonyl(trifluoromethanesulfonylimide) poly(styrene-co-divinylbenzene) [Hbet–STFSI–PS–DVB] was prepared by covalent linking of the ionic liquid to the resin and this resulted in an adsorbent suitable for scandium recovery. For a chloride feed solution, the effects of pH, contact time, adsorption capacity, desorption, reusability of adsorbent and the influence of Fe(III), Al(III) and Ca(II) on the Sc(III) adsorption were studied. The adsorption of Sc(III) from nitrate and sulfate feed solution under optimal conditions was studied as well. The adsorption kinetics followed a pseudo-second order kinetic model. Equilibrium studies at room temperature showed that the experimental data could be well fitted by the Langmuir isotherm model. The stripping of Sc(III) from the loaded SILP was achieved with 1 M sulfuric acid. The SILP was stable and could be reused for seven adsorption/desorption cycles without significant losses in its adsorption efficiency for Sc(III).