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Solvation Extraction and Electrodeposition of Gold from Cyanide Solutions

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Abstract

Recent research efforts have shown that selective solvation extraction of a gold cyanide ion-pair complex from alkaline cyanide solution is possible with organic phosphorus esters. These alkyl phosphorus esters such as tri-n-butyl phosphate (TBP) and di-n-butyl n-butyl phosphonate (DBBP) can selectively load gold to rather high levels, even in excess of 30 gpl. However, traditional stripping techniques are not particularly effective. In this regard, gold recovery by direct electrolysis of the organic phase is an interesting possibility. The rate of direct electrodeposition from the organic phase can be significantly improved by using an aqueous I organic mixture. In this research, direct electro-deposition of sheet gold from loaded DBBP was successfully accomplished at a current density of 8 × 10−4 amp/cm2 and 55°C from such a two-phase mixture with the aqueous phase as the continuous phase. No appreciable degradation of the DBBP was found after five cycles of extraction and electrodeposition. The applicability of this process strategy for an industrial situation was demonstrated by the successful treatment of waste gold cyanide electroplating solutions.

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Wan, R.Y., Miller, J.D. Solvation Extraction and Electrodeposition of Gold from Cyanide Solutions. JOM 38, 35–40 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03257594

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Keywords

  • Current Efficiency
  • Gold Concentration
  • Cyanide Solution
  • Gold Recovery
  • Gold Extraction