Selective recovery of gold(III) using cotton cellulose treated with concentrated sulfuric acid
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- Pangeni, B., Paudyal, H., Inoue, K. et al. Cellulose (2012) 19: 381. doi:10.1007/s10570-011-9628-6
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Novel utilization of cotton cellulose was developed by chemically modifying with concentrated sulfuric acid to prepare a novel kind of adsorption gel for gold. The adsorption behaviors of the gel were investigated for various metals from acidic chloride media. The gel was found to be highly selective for Au(III) over other precious and base metals tested over the whole concentration range of hydrochloric acid. The maximum adsorption capacity for Au(III) was evaluated as 6.21 mmol/g at 303 K. The amount of adsorbed Au(III) was increased with increasing temperature. A kinetic study for the adsorption of Au(III) at various temperatures confirmed the endothermic adsorption process following pseudo-first order kinetics. The activation energy was evaluated as 78.8 kJ/mol. Interestingly, it was found that the adsorbed Au(III) was reduced to elemental form which was evidenced by the clearly visible elemental gold particles which was further confirmed by means of the X-ray diffraction spectrum and optical microscope image of the gel after the adsorption of Au(III). The mechanism of Au(III) adsorption on the cotton gel and its reduction to elemental gold was proved from the results of IR-spectra. The main mechanism could be explained in terms of the coordination of Au(III) to oxygen atom of C–O–C linkage of cross linked cotton gel and to the oxygen atoms of the hydroxyl groups at C2 and C3 atoms of pyranose ring of cotton cellulose followed by the reduction to metallic gold. The adsorbed gold in the cotton gel can easily be recovered by incineration.