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The membrane electrolysis of aqueous solutions containing sodium carbonate and/or sodium tungstate


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Author Verbaan B and Brown GA


Results are presented which demonstrate the feasibility of employing electrolytic membrane technology to process leach liquors derived from alkaline pressure leaching of scheelite concentrates and to recover and recyle sodium carbonate. Thus the problem of disposal of sodium sulphate is avoided. In a further application of the technique sodium tungstate is converted to tungstic acid which can be further processed by three possible routes to crystalline or amorphous tungstic acid or tungsten powder. In each route sodium hydroxide is produced which on carbonation can be recycled as soda ash to the pressure leach stage. Further testwork is required to determine long term operational conditions in the membrane cell and to confirm the effect and deportment of impurities on products. The process has been patented.