Journals →  Tsvetnye Metally →  2019 →  #6 →  Back

ArticleName Production of beryllium hydroxide from beryllium containing concentrates by autoclave electrodialysis
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2019.06.07
ArticleAuthor Matyasova V. E., Tolkachev V. A., Maynikov D. V., Alekberov Z. M.

VNIIНT, Moscow, Russia:

V. E. Matyasova, Leading Researcher
V. A. Tolkachev, Leading Researcher
D. V. Maynikov, Senior Researcher, e-mail:
Z. M. Alekberov, Leading Engineer


Currently, there is no beryllium producing facility in Russia. Considering the current level of technology, the most important industry sectors heavily rely on this metal as there is no alternative. VNIIНT carried out a series of laboratory studies and generic tests and, on the basis of the obtained results, developed an innovative technology for producing beryllium hydroxide from the beryllium containing concentrates of the phenacite-bertrandite ores found at the Ermakov deposit in Buryatia. This paper describes the parameters of the processing cycle that includes: alkaline autoclaving of the concentrate followed by phase separation and washing of the cake to remove water-soluble beryllium; purification of the target solution to remove iron and manganese; hydrolysis of sodium beryllate. Autoclaving of the concentrate at the temperature of 270 oC and leaching for 4 hours at the pressure of 35 atm. and the NaOH concentration of ~450–500 g/dm3 resulted in the recovery of beryllium in the solution at the level of 96–98 %. The resultant slurries were thickened with the help of the flocculant Alclar 600, which was added in the amount of 25 g/ton of solid. The thickened material was filtered and then the cake was filter-pressed at the throughput of 25.2 kg/(m2·cycle). The recovery of beryllium from insoluble residue reached 99.7–99.8 %. For the first time in the world practice, the electromembrane process was applied to adjust the concentration of alkali (decomposition and recovery) in the production of beryllium hydroxide. This technique helped lower the concentration of alkali in the target solution to 30 g/dm3, and thus the solution could be used in the hydrolysis of sodium beryllate and a commercial product could be produced with the beryllium concentration of around 20.3%, which conforms with the industry standard. The developed process can be characterised as being a novelty. It introduces a closed-loop water system and creates pre-conditions for enabling a continuous automatic process, which can help improve the working environment and reduce the environmental impact. This process can now be used for carrying out pilot tests.

keywords Beryllium, beryllium hydroxide, Ermakov deposit, alkaline opening, autoclave leaching, electrodialysis, hydrolysis, thickening, filter pressing

1. Velikhov E. P. Advanced technology of the 21st century and rare metals. A strategy for the utilisation and development of the rare metals base in the 21st century Russia : Abstracts of the papers presented at international conference. Moscow : VIMS, 1998. pp. 3–4.
2. Songina O. A. Rare metals. Moscow : Metallurgiya, 1965. 432 p.
3. Markov V. I. Explorers of locked metals. Almaty : Atamura, 1999. 602 p.
4. Kolbasov B. N., Khripunov V. I., Biryukov A. Yu. Beryllium used in thermonuclear reactors: Resources, impurities, detritization after radiation treatment. Problems of atomic science and technology. Series: Thermonuclear fusion. 2013. Vol. 36. Issue 4. pp. 3–12.
5. Kupriyanova I. I., Shpanov E. P., Anufrieva S. I. Beryllium ores of Russia: Mineral base, engineering and environmental issues. Moscow : VIMS, 2005. No. 18. 68 p.
6. Walsh K. A., Vidal E. E., Goldberg A. et al. Beryllium Chemistry and Processing. The Materials Information Society. ASM International. 2009.
7. Nesterov K. N., Radushinskiy S. M., Alekberov Z. M. Alkaline autoclave opening of beryllium concentrates on Ermakovskoe deposit. Tsvetnye Metally. 2017. No. 2. pp. 56–61.
8. Tolkachev V. A., Paskhin N. P., Maynikov D. V. Intensification of pulp separation in beryllium production. Tsvetnye Metally. 2017. No. 6. pp. 8–11.
9. Gräfe M., Power G., Klauber C. Bauxite residue issues: III. Alkalinity and associated chemistry. Hydrometallurgy. 2011. Vol. 108, No. 1–2. pp. 60–79.
10. Zhu Y. F., Zhang Q. K., Gao X. F., Qian J. Y., Kuang J. Y., Jin Z. J. Experimental analysis on filter press and energy consumption performance of diaphragm press drying device in chemical post-processing integrated equipment. Case Studies in Thermal Engineering. 2016. Vol. 7. pp. 92–102.
11. De Paepe D., Noten B., Coudijzer K., Valkenborg D. A comparative study between spiral-filter press and belt press implemented in a cloudy apple juice production process. Food Chemistry. 2015. Vol. 173. pp. 986–996.
12. Nikolaevskiy V. B., Kotsar M. L., Matyasova V. E. Production of beryllium hydroxide and electromembrane process. Atomnaya energiya. 2017. Vol. 122, Issue 2. pp. 83–86.
13. Rudenko L. A., Kosarev M. G., Tolkachev V. A., Matyasov N. G., Sokolov V. F., Troshkin I. V., Kuzmenko A. P., Matyasova V. E. Suspension clarifier. Certificate of Authorship USSR, No. 1118391. Applied: 27.06.1983. Published: 15.10.1984. Bulletin No. 38. pp. 392–395.
14. Kozhevnikova N. E., Nefedova G. Z., Vlasova M. A. Electrodialysis and ion-exchange membranes. Moscow : NIITEKhIM, 1975. 150 p.
15. Plastpolimer, Saint Petersburg, PTFE Department. Available at: Accessed: 05.05.2016.
16. Electromembrane process at Sayanskhimplast. Available at: Accessed: 03.06.2016.
17. Mazanko A. F., Kamarian G. M., Romashin O. P. Industrial electromembrane processes. Moscow : Khimiya, 1989. 240 p.
18. Matyasova V. E., Nikolaevskiy V. B., Alekberov Z. M. Hydrolysis of sodium beryllate in beryllium hydroxide production technology. Atomnaya energiya. 2016. Vol. 121, Issue 3. pp. 149–152.

Language of full-text russian
Full content Buy