In order to prepare a more desirable feedstock for a rare earth elements separation refinery, cerium, a penalty element in the refinery feedstock, should be removed from a mixed rare earth elements chloride solution. In this study, calcium hypochlorite was used to oxidize cerium (III) to cerium (IV) which was then removed by precipitation. A factorial design of experiments was used to determine the effect of process variables such as temperature, pH, and oxidizer concentration on the oxidation of cerium (III) using both synthetic and real solutions. This proposed technology allows for low cost removal of cerium from mixed rare earth elements chlorides.
Rare earth elements (REE), leaching, separation, solvent extraction, oxidation