Extraction of ammonium nickel sulfate hexahydrate by hydrometallurgical process from the hyperaccumulating plant Odontarrhena muralis – case study from Serbia Original scientific paper

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Branislav Marković
Dragana Ranđelović
Gvozden Jovanović
Gordana Tomović
Ksenija Jakovljević
Tomica Mišljenović
Miroslav Sokić


Phytomining is a new promising technique that is based on using hyperaccumulating plants which biomass is utilized as a bio-ore for metal extraction. The Ni-hyperaccumulating species Odontarrhena muralis is widely distributed on ultramafic soils in Serbia, and could be a promising candidate for Ni agromining. In the present study, efficiency of a hydrometallurgical process for Ni recovery using biomass of O. muralis wild population through the synthesis of Ni salts from plant ash in the form of ammonium nickel sulfate hexahydrate, Ni(NH4)2(SO4)2 6H2O – (ANSH) was assessed. The average Ni content in the plant from ultramafic sites in West Serbia was up to 3.300 g kg-1. The mass yield of ANSH crystals from the crude ash was ~12 % with the average purity of 73 % were obtained. By optimizing the purification process before precipitation of ANSH crystals, it is possible to obtain salt crystals of higher purity, which increases the economic profitability of this process. The results of this preliminary study on wild population of O. muralis show the increased potential for implementation of phytomining practices as an alternative way of Ni extraction on ultramafic sites in Serbia.

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Engineering of Materials - Metal materials


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