Significant amounts of cobalt, a strategic and critical metal, are present in readily accessible copper recycling leach solutions. However, cost-effective technology is not available to separate and recover the cobalt from this low-grade domestic source. The Bureau of Mines has developed a procedure using a chelating ion-exchange resin to successfully extract cobalt from a ph 3.0 Copper recycling solution containing only 30 mg/l cobalt. Cyclic tests with the commercial resin xfs-4195 in 4-ft-high by 1-in-diam columns gave an average cobalt extraction of 95% when 65 bed volumes of solution were processed at a flow rate of 4 gpm/ft2. Elution of the cobalt using a 50-g/l h2so4 solution yielded an eluate containing 0.5 G/l cobalt. Selective elution of the loaded resin and solvent extraction procedures using di-2-ethylhexyl phosphoric acid and cyanex 272 removed the impurities and produced a cobalt sulfate solution containing 25 g/l cobalt.
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