Chemistry: Extracting Metals

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  • Created by: Livy
  • Created on: 04-03-14 17:09

Reactivity Series and Metals

Metals above Carbon must be extracted using Electrolysis

Metals below Carbon can be extracted from their ores by Reduction

Copper, Silver, Gold & Platinum can occur Native and don't need to be extracted. Sometimes Copper needs to be extrated from an Ore. 

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Metal Extraction Basics

Au, Ag and Cu are found as Native elements

Most metals are compounds (oxides or sulphides)

Ores - rocks containing metal componds

All metals are extracted using reduction to be separated from their compounds

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Two Main Ways of Extracting

Reduction with Carbon

Electrolysis, using electricity

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Extracting Aluminum

1     The purified Aluminate is dissolved in molten cryolite and electrolysed at 950 degrees. The reason for this is that the cryolite lowers aluminium’s high melting point, and therefore decreasing the cost.

T     The crystolite does not dissolve as a low voltage is used in the Hall-Hevott cell (as shown below)

3      Reactions take place in the Anode and the Cathode. These can be shown as equations below:

·        Al + 3e-     Al

·        2O     2O +4e-

4       The pure aluminium is then removed from the cell and added to other metals to form alloys, or simply cooled to form inglots.

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Extracting Copper

Copper is found in a green ore called Malachite.

Malachite contains Copper Carbonate.

If you heat it gently, you get Copper Oxide

Using Carbon, the Copper Oxide gets reduced to Copper 

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