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Enhancing Solvent Extraction Efficiency in Nickel, Cobalt, and Rare Earth Element Production: Modeling Mass, Chemistry and Heat Balance with OLI Software.

Solvent extraction plays a critical role in the production of nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements, which are essential for manufacturing lithium batteries, smartphones, lighting systems and high-performance magnets.

Two common types of extractants chemicals are based on phosphonates and organic acids. Developing a mass, chemistry, and heat balance of of an extraction processes is a significant challenge but also provides a lot of benefit to the design and operations engineer.

Join AJ Gerbino as he presents work by the Application Engineering team to develop a prototype simulation for solvent extraction. AJ will show the private database containing the extractant and its metal complexes and demonstrate how the software tools were used to match predictions against measured data.  He will then present a standard extraction process using OLI Flowsheet: ESP. This includes an optimizer step to maximize metal separation and minimize chemical demand.  Finally, AJ will briefly detail the research being done by the thermophysical modeling team to develop a comprehensive solvent extraction database for critical materials.

AJ Gerbino

VP of Consulting and Application Engineering