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PhD project "Extraction of tungsten from mine tailings using Layered Double Hydroxides"

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Français - Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : mardi 5 juillet 2022

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General information

Reference : UMR8247-GRELEF-001
Workplace : PARIS 05
Date of publication : Tuesday, June 14, 2022
Scientific Responsible name : Grégory Lefèvre
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2022
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

Mine tailings often have a dramatic environmental impact on the surrounding environment, rivers and groundwater. Unfortunately, most of them were generated many years ago and the mining companies that operated them no longer exist to take responsibility for soil remediation. However, in some cases, tailings treatment and reclamation could be combined, with effective soil cleanup being achieved at the same time as metal extraction from these secondary mines. The easier access to the ore compared to primary mines would allow for lower energy consumption since the milling step has already been completed.

The proposed study is part of the VARTA (VAlorization and Remediation of TAilings of W-ores) project funded by the French National Research Agency. It brings together the skills of Chimie ParisTech - PSL, CEA ISEC, BRGM, the Laboratory of Chemical Engineering of Toulouse INP and E-MINES with the objective of valorizing the secondary resources of former mining activities.

At the heart of this project is the extraction of tungsten and arsenic by mineral ion exchangers called Layered Double Hydroxides (LDH). The objective of the thesis is to study the extraction mechanisms of tungsten from scheelite, a natural ore found in mine tailings, and also the behavior of arsenic, present in lower concentration.

Solutions and solids will be characterized by complementary methods (ICP-OES, XRD, ATR-IR, µRaman,...). The speciation will also be determined by simulations using a thermodynamic calculation software (PHREEQC). This approach will allow to determine precisely the mechanisms taking place in the system, and to optimize the extraction of tungsten and arsenic. The solids used will initially be pure and model compounds, before applying the protocols to natural samples, collected and processed by the project partners.

Work Context

The thesis will be carried out in the MIM2 team, one of whose research axes is the valorisation of secondary resources.

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