Extracting Copper and Recycling Metals

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  • Extracting Copper and Recycling Metals
    • Smelting
      • Copper can be extracted from copper rich ores by heating ores in a furnace
    • Phytomining
      • Uses plants that grow in soils with high levels of copper compounds
      • Plants absorb compounds
      • They are harvested and burnt
      • Copper extracted from ash that is produced
    • Boileaching
      • Uses bacteria to separate copper from copper sulphide
      • Leachate is produced that contains copper
    • Displacement
      • Iron is more reactive than copper
      • More reactive metal will displace a less reactive metal from a solution of its salt
      • More reactive metal bonds strongly to the non-metal part of the salt
      • Less reactive metal forms a pure element
    • Advantages of recycling metals
      • Old metal objects can be melted down and converted into completely new products
      • Small fraction of energy is needed to recycle metals
    • Environmental and economic benefits
      • Conserve limited resources
      • Reduced the need to mine so less damage is done to the landscape
      • Reduces pollution
      • Reduces amount of waste metals so less land is needed for landfill
    • Disadvantage
      • Time and energy costs


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