In this paper, the kinetics of iron precipitation as sodium jarosite from aqueous solution is investigated. The determination of the reaction mechanism is attempted based on the experimental data of iron removal as a function of time, without using the characteristics of the precipitate.
Experiments at the temperature range from 50° to 95°C were carried out with initial conditions of iron concentration IQ g/L, sodium sulphate concentration 25.44 g/L, sulphuric acid concentration 3.68 g/L, pH = 1.5 and agitation rate 600 rpm. Temperature greatly and positively influences iron precipitation from the solution and this is accompanied by pH decrease. The activation energy was determined using the maximum values of the precipitation rate, which were evaluated by polynomial fitting of the sigmoidal shape experimental curves, and it was found to be 44.37 kcallmole. The determination of the rate-controll ing mechanism was based on some criteria used for the discrimination among the three probable mechanisms of precipitation (diffusion, mononuclear nucleation, polynuclear nucleation). These criteria utilise various funetions of the recovery ‘a’ of iron precipitated versus time, the most important of which are the chronomals. The results of the kinetic analysis procedure showed that the polynuclear nucleation growth mechanism controls the precipitation of iron as sodium jarosite. This was confirmed by the high value of activation energy, excluding diffusion as the controlling mechanism.