Process & Extractive Metallurgy Research Summary


, Volume 37, Issue 7, pp 53-56

First online:

Kinetic Study on Catalytic Leaching of Sphalerite

  • John S. Niederkorn

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This paper examines the influence of cobalt and silver ion concentration on the extraction and kinetics of zinc dissolution from sphalerite. The mechanism involves catalysis of a galvanic oxidation! reduction that produces elemental sulfur in place of SO2 gas.

A 95% maximum zinc recovery was achieved under the experimental conditions. The apparent activation energy suggested a diffusion controlled reaction. The research indicates that cobalt ions are more effective than silver ions because the replacement of zinc ions is facilitated by dimensional similarities between the zinc and cobalt.