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Arsenic Waste Processing

#1020


Scientific Basis for Ecologically Safe Processing of Arsenic Waste from Nonferrous Metal Industries into High-Purity Arsenic Materials

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-RED/Remediation and Decontamination/Environment
  • CHE-ANL/Analytical Chemistry/Chemistry

Status
8 Project completed

Registration date
16.06.1997

Completion date
11.01.2005

Senior Project Manager
Novozhilov V V

Leading Institute
State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • New Technologies Inventing Firm, Russia, Moscow\nInstitute of General and Inorganic Chemistry (IONKh), Russia, Moscow

Collaborators

  • Uve-Institute fur Technische Chemie und Umweltschutz GmbH, Germany, Berlin\nUniversiteit Antwerpen, Belgium, Antwerpen

Project summary

The disastrous situation, connected with the problems of decontaminating, processing, destruction and burying waste, has been formed in Russia. By now about 80 billion tons of solid waste dangerous for the environment have been scattered across Russia.

Non-ferrous metal industry plants appear to be the principal contaminators of the environment. Thus only mining and processing enterprises produce annually 500-600 thousand tons of sub-standard concentrates with arsenic content exceeding 0,6%. Processing such concentrates on purpose to extract non-ferrous metals (copper, tin, cadmium, etc.) appears to be economically inexpedient and ecologically dangerous that results in stockpiling them as useless wastes.

The unfavorable effect of the mentioned metallurgical enterprises upon ecology is conditioned first of all by accession of arsenic, which is present in non-ferrous metal ores, to the environment. The existing arsenic removal technology appears to be non-effective and oriented at waste burial. For this reason millions of tons of toxic arsenic-containing wastes have been accumulated and buried in chemical proving grounds increasing unfavorable load on biosphere.

At the same time, expenditures on building of new storages or broadening of the existing ones turn out to be comparable with or exceed those on development and inculcation of new progressive technologies, which would enable one not only to utilize the arsenic-containing wastes, but also to perform commodity output. It is the purpose of the present Project to work out scietific basis for ecologically safe technologies of utilization of arsenic waste of non-ferrous metal industry to obtain high-pure arsenic materials. Development and industrial application of such a technology would make it possible to broaden the source of raw materials for non-ferrous metals (arsenic, copper, tin, etc.) and sufficiently lower the environment contamination level.

Development of waste dearsenization process, based upon electrochemical extraction, is aimed at producing low-toxic elementary arsenic of 99,5 - 99,7% purity having impurity content favorable for further processing. In order to prove the possibility of the product usage in manufacturing high-pure arsenic materials for electronics and optoelectronics, it is intended to perform within the framework of the Project a research work on developing physic-chemical basis of the technology of producing high-pure arsenic (6N and 7N purity) and its compounds (gallium arsenide, intermetallides). Possessing a series of valuable properties, the substances are used for manufacturing tunnel and high-temperature diodes, parametric and field-effect transistors, speed integrated circuit, IR lasers, solar batteries, etc. It should be pointed out that solar batteries on the basis of high-pure gallium arsenide would open a new era of ecologically safe solar power engineering of the 21st century.

Thus, the above mentioned makes it possible to consider the formulated Project aim as fully grounded and the proposed scientific elaborations as promising and valuable from the commercial point of view.

Realization of the Project would enable a group of scientists and engineers, who specialized in the field of chemical weapons, to redirect their abilities to the activity in civil sector, connected with the solution of a number of scientific, technical and ecological problems. It would invigorate the scientific and economic potential of Russia and facilitate its transition to the market-based economics.

Technical approach

It is proposed to develop a scientific basis for the following technologies:


- dearsenization of arsenic-containing waste of non-ferrous metals industry;
- electrochemical extraction of commercially pure arsenic from the products of dearsenization;
- producing high-pure arsenic compounds.

In order to attain the aim applied modern physical; physic-chemical and mathematical methods would be at each stage of the Project fulfillment.

Expected results

Development of scientific basis for technologies of processing arsenic-containing waste into high-pure arsenic compounds would enable one to broaden the raw materials base of the non-ferrous metals industry, to lower the level of environment contamination with arsenic compounds and to arrange commercial manufacturing high-pure arsenic materials (6N and 7N purity) for microelectronics, optoelectronics and solar power engineering that is of scientific, ecological and commercial importance both in Russia and over the world.

The participants of the Project are experienced in the field of synthesis and investigation of properties of chemical warfare agents, and have made a great contribution to synthesis of high pure arsenic compounds; theoretical and experimental results are published in Russian journals:


1. V.A.Petrunin, A.V.Smetanin et al. Obtaining of finely dispersed arsenic powder by electrolysis of its alkali solutions. Patent of Russia.№2009276. C25C5/02. 2.04.1992.
2. A.P.Tomilov, I.M.Osadchenko. Electrochemistry of arsenic and its compounds. Moscow 1979
3. A.P.Tomilov, Y.MKargin. Electrochemistry of metallic organic compounds. Moscow. Nauka. 1986
4. V.A.Fedorov, E.G.Zuckov. Synthesis of high pure arsenic and its compounds from lewisite. Russ.Chem.J. 1994.V.28, №2.p. 25-35
5. V.A.Fedorov, E.G.Zuckov. Synthesis of high pure arsenic from lewisite detoxication products. Russ.Chem.J. 1995.V.29, №4.p. 46-59
6. V.A Fedorov, A.S.Pashinkin. Physical chemical basis for extraction of high pure arsenic from sulfide ore. High Purity Substances. 1991.№5.p. 7-30

In the realization of the Project participation of foreign colleagues, who specializes in the fields of industrial waste utilization and chemistry and technology of high-pure materials, is also implied. Their part is believed to consist in consulting on all aspects of the project realization.


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