The recycling of copper and nickel from metallurgical wastewater using emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) was studied. P507 (2-ethylhexyl phosphonic acid-2-ethylhexyl ester) and TBP (tributyl phosphate) were used as carriers for the extraction of copper and nickel by ELMs, respectively. The influence of four emulsion composition variables, namely, the internal phase volume fraction (ϕ), surfactant concentration (Wsurf), internal phase stripping acid concentration (Cio) and the carrier concentration (Cc), and the process variable treat ratio on the extraction efficiencies of copper or nickel were studied. Under the optimum conditions, 98% copper and nickel were recycled by using ELM. The results indicated that ELM extraction is a promising industrial application technology to retrieve valuable metals in low concentration metallurgical wastewater.

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