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Ultrason Sonochem. 2017 Jan;34:931-937. doi: 10.1016/j.ultsonch.2016.07.014. Epub 2016 Jul 22.

Solvent extraction of cadmium and zinc from sulphate solutions: Comparison of mechanical agitation and ultrasonic irradiation.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156-83111, Iran.
Department of Mining Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156-83111, Iran. Electronic address:


This research was conducted to evaluate the potential of ultrasonic irradiation during the solvent extraction of metals, and comparing its efficiency with a mechanically stirred system (MSSX). The simultaneous extraction of zinc and cadmium from sulphate solutions was investigated by di-(2-ethylhexyl) phosphoric acid (D2EHPA) as an organic extractant which was diluted (20%) in kerosene at the organic: aqueous phase ratio of 1:1 and the temperature of 25°C. The influence of some critical parameters, including contact time, solution pH, ultrasonic power, and zinc/cadmium ratio were investigated on the extraction of the metals. Results show that D2EHPA selectively extract zinc rather than cadmium in both mechanically and ultrasonically mixed systems. It was also found that increase of ultrasonic power from 10 to 120W cause a small decrease in zinc extraction; while, at low and high levels of the induced power, cadmium extraction was significantly decreased. Results also show that maximum extraction amounts of zinc (88.7%) and cadmium (68.2%) by the MSSX system occurred at the pH of 3 and the contact times of 3 and 20min, respectively. Although capability of extraction in the ultrasonically assisted solvent extraction (USAX) system for both metals was higher, the selectivity was lower than that of MSSX system under different conditions especially in high zinc/cadmium ratios. It can be concluded that physical effects (i.e. mixing) inducing at low ultrasonic powers (below 60W) mainly results in increasing solvent extraction rate, while the chemical actions applied at the higher powers have a negative outcome on the extraction rate particularly for cadmium.


Cadmium; D2EHPA; Mechanical agitation; Solvent extraction; Ultrasonic irradiation; Zinc

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