The Recovery of the Black Ore, Coltan
Ecem Sonmez, Hisar Schools (Turkey)
Ahmet Cem Karadeniz, Hisar School (Turkey)
Characterization techniques and experimental measurements were used to evaluate a process for recycling the black metallic ore, Coltan, from the elements Niobium and Tantalum. These transition metals are essential for the manufacture of electronic capacitors such as mobile phones and laptops. It is also used in land-based turbines and high temperature alloys for air. Since it’s the magical component that controls power-flow in many electronic devices, the demand for Coltan hasn't been stable for the price and the quantity, but is expected to show an annual growth. The increasing demand for Coltan gave rise to many mining areas, one of which located at the Democratic Republic of Congo. Other than the fact that it’s been done illegally, the mining of Coltan is speeding up the extinction of lowland gorillas in DR Congo, which makes the Coltan recycle crucial. Although, recovery of Coltan is desirable, the recycling technology has been poorly developed. In this study, hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid are used as a lixiviant to estimate the optimal molarity unraveling the most Coltan from different concentrations of Niobium and Tantalum powders. These powders are utilized in order to construct a trend in between the absorbance rates and molarities with a spectrophotometer apparatus. The studies suggested that as the molarities increase absorbance rates of Tantalum and Niobium increase as well. This directly proportional trend displayed a graph with a linear relationship confirming Beer Lambert’s Law. The accumulated data, the obtained results, and the optimization statistical approach allows a feasible recycling system that would be beneficial for both the ecosystem and the economy.
Keywords: Coltan recyle, absorbance rate, molarity, Niobium, Tantalum