Acid and metal salt recovery by short bed ion exchange
Since its commercialization thirty years ago, the Recoflo® short bed ion exchange process has been extensively utilized for the recovery of a wide variety of acids and metal salts. In addition to a reduction in resin bed height from 200 cm to 300 cm to 15 cm to 60 cm, the process has a number of features such as utilization of fine mesh resins in a compressed bed which together make it ideal for a number of applications. The process has been extensively exploited, for example, in the metal finishing industry for recovery of valuable chemicals from electroplating, anodizing, etching and pickling wastes. More recently, it has also been applied in the primary metals industry for purification of copper electrolytes and metals recovery from leachates. The paper discusses several of these applications and some of the issues that were found to be key to their success.