Gallium(III) is sorbed by a strong base anion exchange resin loaded with a sulphonated azo-dye, T-azo-R [1-(tetrazolylazo)-2-hydroxynaphthalene-3,6-disulphonic acid], which is able to complex it in aqueous solution. As sorption takes place at acidities at which the hydrolysis of gallium is not negligible, it must be considered as conconmitant equilibrium. The distribution equilibria depend on the amount of ligand sorbed, and on the volume, acidity and ionic composition of the aqueous solution, according to the Gibbs-Donnan model. The thermodynamic complexation constant in the resin phase can be calculated from the experimental distribution coefficients; the value of log K = -1.24(0.20) is in acceptable agreement with that in aqueous solution [log K = -0.75(0.33)] which was also determined in the present investigation. Two equations deriving from the Gibbs-Donnan model are used for predicting the conditions for sorption and elution of gallium by a batch procedure, and for separating it from aluminium.
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