عنوان مقاله [English]
Antimony dissolution in alkaline sulfide solution is the most common wet method of extraction of antimony from primary and secondary sources. In this research, the effect of adding crystallization step before electrowining step on improvement of antimony extraction from sulphide ores was studied. Effect of time and temperature of crystallization step on the removal of antimony and other constituents from leaching solution was explored. Furthermore, effect of crystallization step on some important process parameters such as antimony recovery, current efficiency, type of antimony precipitation on cathode plate and purity of produced antimony was investigated. According to the results, a decrease in the temperature and an increase in the time of crystallization step tend to enhance antimony separation to solid crystals. Removal degree of 95.2 wt% was the best result for antimony separation which was achieved after 2 hour crystallization at 5 C. Additionally more than 90% of As, Fe, Al and sulfur components such as sulphates and thiosulphates were remained in the liquid phase. Results of electrowining step show that high concentration of sulfur component in the solutions that did not pass crystallization step, leads harmful reactions to take place at the electrodes and consumption of electrical energy. Therefore, removal of these harmful components by crystallization causes an increase in the antimony production rate and current efficiency and also improves antimony adherence to the cathode plate. Moreover, the purity of final antimony product was rised from 98.5 to 99.6 wt%.