DOI: 10.3390/pr12030555 ISSN: 2227-9717

Environmentally Friendly Leaching of Antimony from Mining Residues Using Deep Eutectic Solvents: Optimization and Sustainable Extraction Strategies

Michaela Sudová, Martin Sisol, Maria Kanuchova, Michal Marcin, Jakub Kurty
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Bioengineering

This paper focuses on the environmental leaching of antimony, a critical mineral, using deep eutectic solvents. Mining residues often contain embedded antimony, posing environmental risks. Deep eutectic solvents, known for being low in toxicity, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly, present a promising avenue for sustainable antimony extraction. The study focuses on optimizing the leaching process through experimental analysis by considering variables such as temperature, time, and percentage of solids. Different deep eutectic solvent (DES) compositions are being studied, including choline chloride with malonic acid, thiourea, and ethylene glycol in different molar ratios, to identify the most effective solvent system for antimony extraction. A sample, originally obtained from mining waste produced via the flotation of antimonite ore, was used to test these three types of DESs. By optimizing the leaching process by changing the ratio of solid and liquid components, as well as the amount of oxidizing agent up to 3 g, iodine, yields of up to 100% were achieved after leaching for 4 h at 100 °C. The aim of the study is to advance sustainable resource management by providing knowledge on an ecological and feasible method of extracting antimony from mine waste, leading to more conscious and efficient resource practices in the mining sector.

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