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Etude de la précipitation de la fluorine en milieu alcalin et application à un procédé en réacteur à lit fluidisé.

Abstract : The method used by COMURHEX for the treatment of fluorine-rich effluents relies on the addition of solid Ca(OH)2 (portlandite) to precipitate fluorite (CaF2) in strongly alkaline solutions. This method is effective in a settler, and the development of a new fluidized bed process has been proposed to increase its efficiency. Successful assays were conducted on a pilot scale and they demonstrated that precipitation in a fluidized bed reactor actually ensures a satisfactory defluorination. However, the phenomena involved remained poorly known, and the main goal of the present work was to elucidate the mechanisms, their kinetics, and to control the crystallization.Our first contribution is a thermodynamic reappraisal of the KOH–portlandite–calcite system that extends existing solubility data to higher KOH concentrations in solution and incorporates new solubility data for fluorite. The outcome is an aqueous speciation model (Pitzer type) accounting for the solids solubility as a function of the KOH concentration and the temperature, and allowing portlandite undersaturation and fluorine supersaturation to be evaluated in process solutions.Our second contribution focuses on the kinetics and the mechanisms involved during the formation of fluorite, using various mixing designs in batch reactors. Reaction rates are fast, except in experiments involving dilute reactants. Microprobe and granulometric data both indicate that much of the fluorine results from the conversion of the portlandite grains. A shrinking core model controlled by diffusive transfer of fluoride in the porous fluorite corona successfully fits the kinetics of fluorine uptake and the particle grain size.The last part of the experimental work was carried out on a small fluidized bed pilot. These experiments were poorly conclusive. The very small particle size and the large flow rates lead to particle blow off, but not to fluidization. As a consequence, the capacity of the fluidized bed to promote an increase of the particle grain size remains largely unknown.
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Ana Raquel Mateus Tavares. Etude de la précipitation de la fluorine en milieu alcalin et application à un procédé en réacteur à lit fluidisé.. Autre. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Etienne, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013EMSE0710⟩. ⟨tel-00937221⟩

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