, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 47-53
Date: 15 Oct 2009

Gold recovery from chloride solutions using fallen leaves

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Abstract

Recovery of gold from various waste materials is mostly achieved through hydrometallurgical methods, which generate a large amount of secondary chemical waste. Therefore, there is a need to develop an environmentally friendly process for gold recovery. This paper summarizes research on the recovery of gold ions from chloride solutions using fallen tree leaves. First, leaves from trees of 16 different species were studied and ranked by the percent of gold that was recovered. Then, several factors—pH, contact time, shaking rate, and the quantity of ground leaf—affecting the recovery process were studied on leaves from four selected species. Two kinds of leaves were found to exhibit the efficacy of the most effective sorbents, such as activated carbon. After recovery, the gold-deposited leaves were heat-treated at 1,200°C to isolate the gold from the leaves. This method of gold recovery proved to be fast, cheap, and environmentally friendly.