Chemistry - 1.3 - Extracting Metals

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C1.3.1 - Extracting Metals

  • Ore - rock containing metal or metal compound, mining ores involves digging up rock - lot is needed so produces lots of waste and effects environment
  • Unreactive metals - found as the metal and can be separated by physical methods (eg. Gold), most are found as compounds and have to be separated physically
  • Can be extracted by displacment, using a more reactive metal - less reactive than carbon = heated with carbon -> reduction reaction takes place - carbon removes oxygen from oxide = CO2 and metal
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C1.3.2 - Iron and Steels

  • Ores to make iron contain iron(III) oxide - reduced at high temperatures in blast furnace using carbon - iron produced is ~96% iron - impurities make it hard and brittle = only has a few uses as cast iron - can remove impurities, but becomes very soft
  • Most iron used to make steel - iron alloys = mixture of iron, carbon and other elements - can be made to have properties for specific uses - amount of carbon and other elements carefully adjusted - stainless steel has higher quantities of other metals so that it resists corrosion
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C1.3.3 - Aluminium and Titanium

  • Aluminium - low density, resistant to corrosion though high in reactivity series, more reactive than carbon - can't be reduced using carbon - extraced through electrolysis - high temeperatures and large amounts of electricity needed = expensive
  • Pure aluminium = not very strong, aluminium alloys = stronger and harder, with many uses
  • Titanium - reisistant to corrosion, comparatively low density, reduced by carbon but becomes brittle - extracted through a by sodium or magnesium - theyare extracted by eletrolysis = lots of stages = expensive
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C1.3.4 - Extracting Copper

  • Extracted from copper-rich ores by smelting - heated in a furnace, produces impure copper - purified by electrolysis, needs lots of energy to heat, low in copper-rich ores - scientists developing new ways to extract copper from low-grade ores - less environmental impact
  • Phytomining - plants absorb copper compounds from the ground, plants are burned and copper can be extracted from ash
  • Bioleaching - bacteria produce solutions containing copper compounds
  • Copper compound solutions - > copper - can react with more reactive metal than copper to displace it or use electrolysis
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C1.3.5 - Useful Metals

  • Transition metals - middle of periodic table, have similar properties, good conductors of heat and electricity, strong but can be bend or hammered into shapes - useful for buildings, vehicles, containers, pipes and wires
  • Copper - good heat conductor, doesn't react with water, can be bent but hard enough to keep its shape - useful for pipes and tanks in water or heating systems, good electrical conductor - useed for electrical wires
  • Most metals used aren't pure - pure iron, copper, gold and aluminium are easily bent so often mixed with harder metals to make alloys
  • Iron -> steel
  • Gold in jewelley is an alloy
  • Aluminium in buildings and aircrafts is an alloy
  • Copper -> bronze and brass
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C1.3.6 - Metallic Issues

  • Mining ores - involves digging up and producing lots rock - makes a lot of waste -> effects large areas of the environment
  • Recycling saves energy - no need to extract the metal, less ore needs to be mined, no fossils fuels needed to provide energy to extract the metal from it's ore
  • Advs of using metals in construction - strong, bent into shape, make flexible wires, good electrical conductors
  • Disadvs of using metal in construction - extracting metal from ores causes pollution and uses limited resources, other materials are cheaper eg. concrete, iron and steel rust
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