Scientists Suggest More Eco-Friendly Gold Extraction Process

Scientists from the Aalto University in Finland recently published a study in which they describe a new, nontoxic and scalable way to extract gold from metal ore. Their study was published in the “Chemical Engineering” journal.

This new method uses chloride, which is one of a major pair of elements in table salt. It involves the leaching and recovery of the yellow metal. Leaching refers to the process that is commonly used to extract metals by treating a metal’s ore with chemicals that convert the metals into soluble salts. The impurities from the ore usually remain insoluble during this process.

In a media statement, the lead author of the study Ivan Korolev stated that the amount of gold that was yielded using chloride and the researchers’ method was more than 80%. He explained that this was significantly higher than the ore recovered using the standard cyanide process in their control experiment, which was about 63%.

This new approach, which has been dubbed electrodeposition-redox replacement, combines cementation and electrolysis. Cementation adds particles of different metals to the leaching solution, allowing it to react with the yellow metal. On the other hand, electrolysis utilizes electric currents to decrease the presence of gold and other metals in the leaching solution.

Before conducting their study, the researchers used copper to test their method. It was during this stage that they applied short electrical pulses to create thin metal layers on the electrode, which caused a reaction that encouraged gold to replace the red metal, layer by layer. The researchers stated that this process didn’t require any additional elements and consumed low amounts of energy.

Laboratory work for the study was carried out in partnership with Metso Outotec, a Finnish mining-tech giant, which invited the researchers to work at its Finland-based center for research Korolev revealed that their collaboration with Metso Outotec allowed them to develop the process in a way that was closer to implementation in the real world, noting that they began with almost 9% recovery before hitting 25% then 70%. He added that they had even achieved 95% on some occasions.

Korolev asserted that this was the first time that an experiment such as this one had been carried out on a large scale. In addition, Korolev explained that extraction processes used in the past left valuable metals behind, noting that the demand for various metals growing as more time went by had made even these small amounts important.

As additional ways to extract precious metals are discovered, existing players in this sector, including Asia Broadband Inc. (OTC: AABB), will have more processing options to choose from and maximize their yield.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Asia Broadband Inc. (OTC: AABB) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/AABB

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