Extraction of Crude Metal from Concentrated Ore

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Learn the Extraction of Crude Metal from Concentrated Ore

The discovery of metals and its various innovative uses have paved the way to the modern civilization we are currently living in. Almost everything we use in our daily lives is made of metal. From medical equipment to agricultural infrastructure, clothing manufacturing to residential constructions, you will find different types of metals used for various purposes. This is why metallurgy has been added as a part of the chemistry syllabus in the advanced classes. Learning how to extract metals from ores using the inorganic properties of the constituents is very important.

The concept page of Vedantu has been prepared by the top mentors so that students can understand these topics properly. On this concept page, students will learn how the extraction of crude metal from concentrated ore is done in different ways. Follow how the experts have used the simplest language to make these concepts easy to understand for students. Find out the best ways to tackle your queries by using this concept page as a reference.

What is the Extraction of Metals?

Every ore is extracted from the mines with the sole purpose of collecting a particular metal. The ore is mined and then sent to the refining chambers. There are several processes involved in concentrating the ore of a metal. This concentrating part starts with pulverization of the big ore chunks in the jaw crushes or ball mills.

After completely reducing the grain size of the ore, it is then sent to the concentrating segment where the amount of ore containing the metal is increased by removing impurities as much as possible. The processes involved in this part of the metal extraction process are:

  • Hydrolytic Method

Water is sprayed with a force on the pulverized ore grains. The metal-containing grains settle down on the grooved inclined table and the impurities wash down.

  • Magnetic Separation

This is one of the easier metal ore concentration processes used for ferromagnetic substances. The wheels running a conveyor belt are magnetic. They keep the magnetic ore particles stuck to the belt and the rest of the impurities fall down.

  • Froth Floatation

This is a process of concentrating the ore where a dual medium of oil and water is used. Compressed air is sent in the mixture to form frothing in the oil medium. The ore particles containing the metal form froths that are collected on the top of the oil medium. The impurities that are unable to get dissolved either in oil or water settle down.

After these processes, the concentrated ore is then subjected to another purification method. This is where the metal is then separated from the ore by means of heating. It is either done in the presence or absence of air. To remove it from the concentrated ore, the original state has to be converted into an oxide first. This is done by following the two processes related to the extraction of crude metal from concentrated ore mentioned below.

  • Calcination

This is a process where the concentrated ore is subjected to immense heat in a very limited supply of air or oxygen. It is sometimes done in the absence of oxygen. The hydrated oxides lose all the water molecules associated leaving the oxide of the metal behind. In fact, it is also done to break down the carbonated salts of different elements. For instance, it is done to remove the associated water molecules of ferric oxide. It is also used to break and remove the carbonate functional group from the salts of calcium and magnesium. When you will study this process of extraction of crude metal from the ore with the help of examples on this concept page, it will become a lot easier to understand.

  • Roasting

Roasting, on the other hand, is heating the concentrated ore to extreme temperature in the presence of oxygen so that the sulphides of the ores can be oxidized to form metal oxides. The superheated oxygen in the air removes the sulphide group in the metal ore in the form of sulphur oxides and leaves the oxide of metals behind. This extraction of crude metal from the ore is done for extracting copper from copper sulphides, lead from lead sulphides and zinc from zinc sulphides.

After this step, the oxide of the metals is then reduced by heating them in the presence of carbon. Carbon reduces the oxides to pure metals as it takes away oxygen to form carbon oxides.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. How Do We Separate Metal from Ores?

An ore is first mined and then pulverized in the machines to increase the surface area. It is then treated with different methods to concentrate the content of the metal ore. After that, the concentrated ore is either roasted or calcinated to avail of metal oxides. In the end, the oxides are heated in presence of carbon to get pure metal. This is how the extraction of metal from concentrated ore is done.

Q2. Why Does the Metal Extraction Process Vary?

The metal extraction process depends on the physical and chemical properties of the metal, as well as, the ores.

Q3. How Can You Make it Easier to Study the Extraction of Metals?

Study the chapter related to the extraction of metal from concentrated ore and then proceed to this concept page for quick revision.