Electrolytic Oxidation of Cinnabar Ores for Mercury Recovery.
Scheiner-BJ; Lindstrom-RE; Shanks-DE; Henrie-TA
NTIS: PB 193 325 :11 pages
Electrooxidation of cinnabar mercury ores (hgs) was investigated as a means of providing an effective and economical hydrometallurgical technique for extraction of mercury from its ores, particularly those too low in grade to allow economical metal recovery by retorting or furnacing techniques. Oxidation was accomplished by electrolysis of ore slurried with brine. Cinnabar was dissolved by oxidation of the insoluble sulfide to soluble mercuric salts. The mercury ion in a brine solution forms a stable tetrachloro complex. Typical laboratory experiments required 1 to 7 hours of electrolysis at 35-percent pulp density in a brine solution that contained 4 to 20 weight-percent sodium chloride (nacl). Power consumption ranged from 10 to 50 kwhr/ton of dry ore. Mercury extraction values between 90 and 99 percent were obtained with all of the ores investigated. Subsequent mercury recovery from leach solutions was readily accomplished by precipitation on zinc. Pilot mill experiments in a 100- to 200-lb/hr extraction plant are in progress to quantify power and reagent requirements, and extraction and recovery data obtained to date closely parallel those obtained in the laboratory.
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS: PB 193 325