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Question

Briefly explain any three methods for the refining of metals.


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Solution

Refining of metals:

The refining of metals can be done by various methods, some of which are described below:

1. Distillation:

  • The distillation process is applicable for metals with low boiling points such as zinc. The zinc and mercury readily vaporize while heating them, leaving behind their impurities.
  • The leftover impure metal is heated above its melting point in a furnace and as the impurities get separated, the vapors are reconverted to metals.

2. Electrolytic Refining:

  • The electrolytic refining method uses different electrochemical properties of the metals as well as the impurities
  • In this method, the impure metal is the anode while the pure metal is the cathode.

3. Liquidation

  • Liquidation is applicable for metals with low melting points such as Tin.
  • In the liquidation process, the impure metal is heated and then it flows on a sloped surface.
  • The pure metal will collect at the bottom of the slope while the impurities will remain behind.

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