Zinc from Zincblende
Name: Sam M.
How would you extract zinc out of zincblende?
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.
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Update: June 2012