Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Zinc from Zincblende
Name: Sam M.
Status: student
Age: 12
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 11/14/2004


Question:
How would you extract zinc out of zincblende?


Replies:
Sam,

The following zinc extraction process is taken from an Inorganic Chemistry Book (London) dated 1939, but the core of the process (Chemistry) is still used today. The zincblende ore is first roasted, and the sulphur dioxide produced from the blende may be utilized in the manufacture of sulphuric acid. External heating has to be applied, the blende being raked in a series of muffle furnaces through which air circulates. Care must be taken so that only the oxide of zinc is produced: 2ZnS + 3O2 = 2ZnO + 2SO2. Some sulfate is always formed and is decomposed at the high temperatures used. The roasted ore is next mixed with half its weight of powdered coal and charged into fireclay retort furnaces. Zinc distills off: ZnO + C = Zn +CO. The reduction begins at 800 degrees and increases rapidly with the rise in temperature. I hope that this helps.

Sincerely,

Bob Trach



Click here to return to the Chemistry Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory