SysCAD at COM 2021

By 6th August 2021August 30th, 2021News

We are pleased to be presenting at COM 2021. Dr Kevin Heppner will be presenting “Modelling the Solvent Extraction Separation of Neodymium from Praseodymium using a First Principles Thermodynamic Model”.

Using the PHREEQC thermodynamic database add-in and results from a solvent extraction pilot plant, a working thermodynamic model was generated within SysCAD. Multivariate process optimisation studies using this model were conducted and demonstrated a trade-off between product stream purity, praseodymium rejection, and neodymium recovery.

Abstract summary: Understanding the underlying chemistry in a solvent extraction process is crucial for running a plant at optimal performance. In this work, a thermodynamic model of a solvent extraction process is developed. The thermodynamic model is fitted to extraction isotherm data available in the open literature. The model is then successfully validated against pilot plant data. The resulting model is used to perform sensitivity analysis on a typical operating circuit to identify important operational variables to achieve optimal production performance. The scrub solution free acid concentration is identified as having a significant impact on overall recovery and product purity and is investigated further.

COM 2021, the 60th Annual Conference of Metallurgists, is hosted by MetSoc – Metallurgy and Materials Society of CIM. The digital conference is held from August 17-19, 2021. Conference details and registration:

Copies of the paper and video presentation will be available after the conference. For additional information on thermodynamic database integration in SysCAD, please contact us at

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