South African Journal of Science
On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
Print version ISSN 0038-2353
TOURE, Alpha O. et al. Processes for working-up an aqueous fluosilicic acid solution. S. Afr. j. sci. [online]. 2012, vol.108, n.11-12, pp.108-113. ISSN 1996-7489.
Aqueous fluosilicic acid solutions were once considered to be only adverse by-products of phosphoric acid production, which required treatment to prevent ecosystem destruction when discharged into the sea. However, a range of chemicals can be generated by the transformation of this industrial waste product. Through experiments undertaken in the laboratory, we have shown the possibility of caustic soda production. Volumetric analysis showed caustic soda to be present as a 6% - 7% solution with yields of about 70% - 80% by weight. Two processes were investigated for the caustification of sodium fluoride, using different precipitates: sodium chloride and ethanol and are described by modelling caustification curves. The activation energies of precipitation determined by semi-empirical correlations showed that precipitation by ethanol (EA = 933.536 J/mol) was more successful than precipitation by sodium chloride (EA = 7452.405 J/mol). Analyses performed on the precipitates highlighted compositions that are essential and useful constituents in the cement industry.