CRACKING OF MALAYSIAN XENOTIME CONCENTRATE IN SODIUM HYDROXIDE USING FUSION TECHNIQUE
There are different methods for processing and breaking down minerals including acid baking, alkaline cracking and alkaline fusion digestion techniques. In this paper, xenotime was cracked via alkaline fusion digestion methods. Xenotime is one of the rare earth minerals that contain radioactive materials such as uranium (U) and thorium (Th). In this study, Malaysian xenotime undergo the process using sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and leached in 6M hydrochloric acid (HCl) followed by selective precipitations to obtain 1) mixed thorium and rare earth in the form of oxalates and 2) mixed uranium and rare earth in the form of hydroxide. The samples were characterized using Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM), X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (ED-XRF) instruments to study their morphology, qualitative and quantitative value of elements obtained along the study. The percentage of recovery can be calculated from the mass of samples obtained with assist from ED-XRF results.