Getting metals from rocks

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  • Created by: Aleena
  • Created on: 30-12-12 08:11


Ametal ore is a rock ehich containe enough metal to make it worthwhile extracting it.

Ore can oxide of metal normally

most metals ened to be extracted from its ore by chemical reactions.- reduction and electrolyis

Some ores may need to be concentrated before use- to get rid of unwanted rock

Electroloysis can b used to purify the extracted metal

The economics (profiability) of metal extraction can change over time- e.g. market price drops, meaning metal not worth extracting. Technology improving makes it possible oto extract more metal from a  sample of rock which metal was extractied fro previouly. Makes it more worth extractingg mrtal that wasnt worth extracting brfore

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Reduction With Carbon

A metal is extracted from its ore by reduction with Carbon

When an ore is reduced , Oxygen is removed from it

Some metals can and some cant be reduced by Carbon. This depens on the reactivity series.

Metals higher than Carbon in the reactivityy series (Potassium, Sodium, Calcium, Magwensium, Aluminium) cant be extracted by reduction with Carbon oso have to use electrolysis.

Metals below Carbon in the reactivity series (Zinc, Iron, Tin, Copper) can be extracting by reduction.E.G iron oxide is reduced in blast furnace to make iron.

This is becuase Carbon can only take oxygen away from metals that are less rezactiv ethan it is.

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Metals that are more reactive than Carbon have to be extracted by electrolysis of molten compunds

Becasuse electrolysysi uses a lot of energy, its much more expenssive than red8ction with carbon

Copper is easily extraxcted by reduction with Carbon. However the copper  produced is impure so doesnt conduct electricityvery well. Electrolysis can be used to purify copper. even though its quite expenxsive.

Ekecrolysis is the breaking down of a asubstance using electricity. It requires a liquid to conduct the electricty, called the electrolyte. Electrolytes are useally metal salt solutions made from the ore.

The electrolyte has free ions - conduct electricity and allo whole thing to work

Electrons are taken away by the positive (anode) and given away by the negative (cathode)

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