Novel ion-exchange materials derived from poly(styrene-co-maleimide) and a study of the extraction and recovery of gold (III) chloride from acidic solutions

Lakay, Eugene Marlin (2013-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this study an economical, environmentally friendly, selective and efficient process for the extraction and recovery of [AuCl4]- from aqueous acidic chloride-rich solutions, particularly those aqueous solutions having low concentrations of the precious metal complexes has been investigated. Functionalized poly(styrene-co-maleimide) (PSMI) nanoparticles were synthesized by thermal imidization of the poly(styrene-co-maleic anhydride) (PSMA) copolymer with 3-N,N-dimethylaminopropylamine. Stable water-based dispersions were obtained containing spherical, monodisperse PSMI nanoparticles with a narrow size-distribution and average diameters of 50 ± 5 nm. The specific surface area of the bulk PSMI nanoparticles is 88.1 ± 2.2 m2/g with an average pore diameter of 82.3 Å. 13C NMR, FTIR and elemental analyses confirmed the successful and complete conversion of PSMA into the PSMI derivative. The functionalized PSMI nanoparticles synthesized were investigated as a novel anion-exchange material for the extraction of [AuCl4]- ions from aqueous acidic solutions. Batch sorption studies were carried out as a function of various parameters, such as initial gold concentration, PSMI mass, contact time and agitation rate. The [AuCl4]- extraction occurred with extremely fast sorption kinetics and is dependent on the rate of agitation during the batch sorption process. The functionalized PSMI nanoparticles show a maximum gold loading capacity of 1.76 mmol/g (347.7 mg/g). Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models were applied to analyze the experimental sorption data. The best model describing the sorption process is given by the Langmuir model. Desorption efficiencies of about 80 % and 93 % were obtained using acidified thiourea (0.25 M thiourea/2 M HCl) and a mixture of 10 M HNO3/0.5 HCl as elutant solutions, respectively. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis unambiguously confirms that the immobilized gold species exists in several oxidation states of 0, +I and +III on the PSMI nanoparticles. This proves that the [AuCl4]- ions initially present in the gold feed solutions unfortunately are subject to a reduction phenomenon on the surface of the functionalized PSMI nanoparticles. The existence of the various gold species contributed significantly to poor desorption efficiencies. In addition to PSMI nanoparticles, micro- to millimeter size PSMI resin beads was prepared by an electrospray methodology. This allows for a wide range of PSMI spherical and quasi-spherical bead diameters of shape to be prepared by manipulation of the experimental conditions employed during the electrospray process, such as the concentration of the PSMI in solution, the capillary tip-to-collector distance, flow rate and the applied voltage. 13C NMR and FTIR spectroscopy analyses show that the electrospray methodology allows PSMI resin beads preparation without any change in chemical composition of the PSMI material. Surface area and porosity analysis shows that 450 μm and 1620 μm PSMI beads selected for use in the gold extraction experiments are microporous and have BET specific surface areas of 2.8 ± 0.4 m2/g and 2.0 ± 0.1 m2/g, respectively. Micro- to millimeter size PSMI resin beads of 450 μm and 1620 μm diameter were tested as potential anion-exchange resins for the extraction of [AuCl4]- from aqueous acidic solutions. The time-dependent studies reveal that the extent of gold uptake increases with an increase in contact time and is dependent on the gold concentration in the [AuCl4]- feed solutions. A maximum loading capacity of 120.7 mg/g and 98.16 mg/g was attained for the 450 μm and 1620 μm resin beads, respectively. The experimental sorption data followed a linear trend consistent with a Freundlich sorption model. This sorption trend for [AuCl4]- suggests that a multi-layer sorption process predominates. Desorption of immobilized gold species from the loaded PSMI resin beads was investigated using various elutants such as HCl, HNO3, thiourea, NaCN and NaOH solutions. The best results were obtained using a mixture of 10 M HNO3/0.5 M HCl as elutant with a desorption efficiency of about 97%. Finally, superparamagnetic magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles with a high degree of crystallinity and phase purity were synthesized by a chemical co-precipitation of Fe2+ and Fe3+ salts. The average diameters of the obtained Fe3O4 nanoparticles were about 7 – 8 nm. The Fe3O4 nanoparticles were coated with oleic acid surfactant molecules and used as seed particles for the preparation of 50 nm diameter magnetic PSMI nanoparticles via an in situ imidization reaction. TEM analysis confirmed that the magnetically responsive PSMI nanoparticles consist of magnetite core-polymer shell structure, although more work is required to perfect such materials.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In hierdie studie is ‘n ekonomiese, omgewings vriendelike, seleketiewe en effektiewe proses vir die ekstraksie en herwinning van [AuCl4]- uit suur chloried-ryke oplossings, spesifiek oplossings van lae konsentrasies van edel metal komplekse was bestudeer. Gefunksionaliseerde poli(stireen-ko-maleïmied) (PSMI) nanopartikels was gesintetiseer deur middel van termiese imidisasie van die poli(stireen-ko-maleïk anhidried) kopolimeer met 3-N,N-dimetielaminopropielamien. Stabiele dispersies in water was gevind wat soos sweriese mono-disperse PSMI nanopartikels met ‘n noue partikel-grootte verspreiding met ‘n gemiddelde deursnee van 50 ± 5 nm. Die spesifieke oppervlak area van die massa PSMI nanopartikels is 88.1 ± 2.2 m2/g met ‘n gemiddelde porie-grootte van 82.3 Å. 13C NMR, FTIR en elementêre analiese bevestig die suksesvolle en volledige omskakeling van PSMA na PSMI. Die gefunksionaliseerde PSMI nanopartikels was bestudeer as ‘n nuwe anion-uitruil material vir die ekstraksie van [AuCl4]- ione uit suur oplossings. Stel sorpsie studies was uitgevoer as ‘n funksie van verskeie parameters soos onder andere die goud konentrasie in oplossing, PSMI massa, kontak tyd en ‘n mengings tempo. Die [AuCl4]- ekstraksie gebeur met ‘n geweldige sorpsie kinetika en is afhanklik van die mengings tempo gedurende die stel sorpsie proses. Die gefunksionaliseerde PSMI nanopartikels het ‘n maksimum goud sorpsie kapsiteit van 1.76 mmol/g (347.7 mg/g). Langmuir en Freundlich isoterm modelle was gepas en geanaliseer op die experimentele sorpsie data waarvan die Langmuir isoterm model die data die beste gepas het. De-sorpsie effektiwiteit van ongeveer 80 % en 93% was vekry vir die aangesuurde thiourea (0.25 M thiourea/2 M HCl) en ‘n mengsel van 10 M HNO3/0.5 M HCl as elueer oplossings, onderskeidelik. X-straal foto-elektron spektroskopie (XPS) analiese bevestig ongetwydeld die geimmobileerde goud spesies in oksidasietoestande van 0, +I, en +III op die PSMI nanopartikels. Hierdie is bewyse dat die [AuCl4]- oorspronklik teenwoordig in die goud oplossings is onderhewe auto-reduksie fenomeen op die oppervlak van die gefunksionalieerde PSMI nanopartikels. Die bestaan van verskeie goud spesies dra by tot die power de-sorpsie effektiwiteit van ge-immobiliseerde goud. Bykomend tot die nanopartikels is mikro- tot millimeter grootte PSMI partikels voorberei met ‘n elektro-sproei proses. Hierdie metode stel ons instaat om ‘n wye reeks sferiese en quasi-sferiese PSMI partikel se deersnee voorteberei. Deur die manupulasie van die eksperimentele kondisies gedurende die elektro-sproei proses, soos die konsentrasie van die PSMI in oplossing, die kapilêre punt-tot-ontvanger afstant, vloeispoed en die toegepasde potensiaal. 13C KMR en FTIR spectroskopiese analiese wys dat die elektro-sproei proses die PSMI partikel bereiding toelaat sonder enige veranderinge in die chemiese samestelling van die PSMI materiaal. Oppervlak area en porie-grootte analise wys dat 450lksdfhld en dskl jmm partikels gebruik in die goud ekstraksie eksperimente is mikro-porieës en het spesifieke oppervlak-areas van 2.8 ± 0.4 m2/g en 2.0 ± 0.1 m2/g onderskeidelik. Mikro- tot millimeter grootte poli(stireen-ko-maleimied) (PSMI) partikels van 450 μm en 1620 μm deursnee was getoets as potensieele anion-uitruilings-hars vir die ekstraksie van [AuCl4]- vanuit suur oplossings. Die tyd afhanklike studies gee aanduiding dat die mate van goud opname toeneem met ‘n toename in kontak-tyd en is afhanklik van die goud konsentrasie in die [AuCl4]- oplossings. ‘n Maksimum opname-kapasiteit van 120.7 mg/g en 98.2 mg/g was verkry vir die 450 μm en 1620 μm hars partikels onderskeidelik. Die eksperimentele sorpsie-data volg ‘n lineêre neiging in ooreenstemming met die Freundlich model. Die sorpsie neiging van [AuCl4]- dui aan dat ‘n meervuldige laag sorpsie proses domineer. De-sorpsie van die geimobiliseerde goud spesies vanaf die PSMI hars partikels was bestudeer deur gebruik te maak van verskeie elueermiddels soos HCl, HNO3, thiourea, NaCN en NaOH oplossings. Die beste resultate is verkry deur ‘n mengsel te gebruik van 10M HNO3/0.5M HCl as elueermiddel met n de-sorpsie effektiviteit van ongeveer 97%. Superparamagnetiese magnetiet (Fe3O4) nanopartikels met ‘n hoë graad van kristaliniteit en fase-reinheid was voorberei deur ‘n chemiese ko-neerslagvorming van Fe2+ en Fe3+ soute. Die gemiddelde deursnee van die Fe3O4 nanopartikels was ongeveer 7 – 8 nm. Die Fe3O4 nanopartikels was omhul met oleic suur benatter molekules wat gebruik word as saadjies vir voorbereiding van 50 nm deursnee-magnetiese PSMI nanopartikels deur middel van ‘n imidisasie reaksie. TEM analiese bevestig dat die magnetiese PSMI partikels nanopartikels bestaan uit ‘n magnetiet-kern polimeer-skil struktuur.

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