Ionic Resins for Metal & Hydrometallurgy

Ionic Resins for Metal & Hydrometallurgy

Alfa Chemistry provides a variety of ion exchange resin products for metal & hydrometallurgy, and our products are spread all over the world. We always focus on the most cutting-edge technology, constantly update our product list, to maximize customer needs.

As metal ores in the world are becoming lean and increasingly complex, hydrometallurgical techniques are used extensively and widely in metal extraction from low-grade resources. Some metals, such as zinc, gold, aluminum, uranium, and rare earth elements, are produced to a large extent or entirely through hydrometallurgy. Based on the special chemical structure of ion exchange resins, it has adsorption preference for certain metal ions, and ion exchange technology has a wide range of applications in the hydrometallurgical industry. And it has become an alternative to solvent extraction technology. Ion exchange has the characteristics of high purification efficiency, simple operation, low cost, and no pollution. (Shenxu B, et al. 2016)

In addition, the recovery and/or extraction of metal ions from aqueous solutions has also received long-term attention in other fields such as environmental protection, analytical chemistry, and geochemistry. Examples of commercial applications of ion exchange resins include water and wastewater treatment, concentration of valuable trace metals, extraction of valuable metals from hydrometallurgical leachate, and separation of chemical substances. (Silva R A, et al. 2018)

Schematic of metal extraction processes on SIRs; modified fromFig.1 Schematic of metal extraction processes on SIRs; modified from [1]

Common applications include:

  • Change the ionic composition in the solution
  • The ion conversion effect of resin can be used to treat heavy metal ions such as chromium, copper, nickel, and manganese in wastewater, and it can also be used to recover precious metal ions such as gold in metallurgical wastewater.

  • Ion separation and extraction
  • The selective separation technology of ion exchange resin for wastewater containing multiple ion components can usually be divided into the following situations.

    • Separation of ions with opposite electrical properties.
    • Separation of ions of the same charge.
    • Separation of ions with the same electrical properties but a large difference in radius.
  • Concentrated ionic substances
  • For example, using ion exchange resin to exchange and adsorb hexavalent chromium-containing wastewater can increase its concentration by about 500 times, from tens of milligrams per liter to 20-30g/L.


  1. Shenxu B, et al. Recovery and Separation of Metal Ions from Aqueous Solutions by Solvent‐Impregnated Resins. Chemical Engineering & Technology, 2016.
  2. Silva R A, et al. Application of resins with functional groups in the separation of metal ions/species – a review. Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Review, 2018, 39(1):1-19.

If the product of interest is not available in our catalog, please contact us to see if there is any relevant stock or other purchase channels.

Application List

CONTACT a Alfa Chemistry Team Member