This work defines and systematizes the physical factors of the problem of leaching and demonstrates for the first tine the utility of macropore volume, micropore volume., specific surface, pore size distribution and permeability as parameters of leaching based on a study of the recovery of uranium from the Top Black member of Chattanooga Shale.
A set of factors which govern the leaching of ores was defined and organized into a logical system based on the elements of leaching; namely, accessibility, physico-chemical interaction and transport. From this array a set of categories was chosen which permitted a regrouping as follows:
- Structural factors
- Fluid factors
- Factors common to fluid and structure
- Operational factors
- Chemical factors
Elements of Leaching
Accessibility is a vital element because interaction between the desired constituents and the leaching fluid cannot take place in the absence of contact.
The necessary sub-elements to establish contact between constituents and fluid are exposure and penetrability. Exposure is the opening up of the desired constituents and penetrability is the ability of the leaching fluid to penetrate to sites where desired constituents are exposed.
Exposure depends on volume, shape and location distributions of the values of a given mixture. Given two mixtures differing only in the volumes