A Study of Solvent Extraction of Primary Ores in North America
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Solvent extraction (SX) has contributed greatly to extractive metallurgy in the past two decades. This report will examine various aspects of the technique, aiming to define potential markets for solvent extraction reagents. To acoomp1ish this goal, the metal market will be examined to determine which metal in particular is most suitable for further development in this area. Then turning to the market for reagents, an attempt will be made to forecast the size of the market at present and in 1980; in addition, other considerations will be examined such as the lead time until the product is commercially tried, what technical assistance a manufacturer of such a product would need to provide for its customers, and the competition from other manufacturers. The reagents themselves will then be discussed in terms of their chemistry, attempting to evaluate the effect of reagent structure on extractive ability. Finally, the existing commercial products will be discussed including their use in specific refining plants. In conclusion, suggestions will be made for further study, including a tentative evaluation of the total potential of this field.