A method is described for leaching hg from hg-bearing materials by electrolysis. e.g., 1,350 g of -35 mesh ore, containing 2.5 Lb hg/ton, was mixed with 300 g nacl and 2,500 ml h2o in a 4-l beaker. Graphite electrodes were immersed in the pulp, and electrolysis was initiated. In the preliminary test the following conditions were employed: a treatment rate of 5 a, a current density of 0.3 A/in2, a pulp density of 35 wt pct, a salt concentration of 10 wt pct, and a reaction temperature of 30 deg. C. A group of subsequent tests was conducted in each of which one variable was modified accordingly; in one group, the salt concentration varied from 5 to 20 pct; in a second group, the temperature varied from 25 deg. to 50 deg. C; in a third group, the c.D. Varied from 0.15 to 1.0 A/in2; in a fourth group, the current load varied from 2.5 to 10 a. Throughout all these tests 90-99 pct of the hg was extracted from the ore.
U.S. Pat. 3,639,222; Feb. 1, 1972; Chem. Abstr. 76:120,900J