Description: Preliminary studies in the EM-21 Alternative Chemical Cleaning Program have focused on understanding the dissolution of Hematite (a primary sludge heel phase) in oxalic acid, with a focus on minimizing oxalic acid usage. Literature reviews, thermodynamic modeling, and experimental results have all confirmed that pH control, preferably using a supplemental proton source, is critical to oxalate minimization. With pH control, iron concentrations as high as 0.103 M have been obtained in 0.11 M oxalic acid. This is consistent with the formation of a 1:1 (iron:oxalate) complex. The solubility of Hematite in oxalic acid has been confirmed to increase by a factor of 3 when the final solution pH decreases from 5 to below 1. This is consistent with literature predictions of a shift in speciation from a 1:3 to 1:1 as the pH is lowered. Above a solution pH of 6, little Hematite dissolves. These results emphasize the importance of pH control in optimizing Hematite dissolution in oxalic acid.
Date: December 18, 2009
Creator: Hay, M.; King, W. & Martino, C.
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