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Extraction Of Iron

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Extraction Of Iron Iron, perhaps the most important element to all civilization is also one of earth's most abundant. Like the majority of metal ores, iron ores are not pure compounds. Rather, most iron ore compounds are polluted with sand, rock and silica. The process of extracting iron involves a number of steps. The first step to concentrate the iron ore and remove its contents of silica. To further remove any existing impurities, a complex process takes place in a blast furnace. The charge is where materials are placed into the blast furnace. These materials are: Ore, Limestone and Coke. A burst of hot, oxygen enriched air is blown into the air-blast nozzle located at the near bottom of the furnace. What follows are a number of oxidation and reduction type reactions which ultimately produce the metallic iron. One of these reactions is the coke being burnt. ...read more.


This takes place in the middle of the furnace. CaCO3(s) (r) CaO(s) + CO2(g) The second step in this process is when the lime reacts with the silica, resulting in calcium silicate. CaO(s) (r) SiO2(s) + CaSiO2(l) At this point, the calcium silicate is a liquid which seems to mean that the lime has served as a flux. The term flux refers to a substance that cause mineral impurities in an ore to melt more readily. The melting process that takes place in the furnace is called smelting. In this process of smelting, the products in the furnace are separated into layers. In this way, the molten iron is the bottom layer and molten calcium silicate is the layer above it. Being that the molten iron is more dense than the molten calcium silicate. The calcium silicate is a kind of slag, formed in a smelting process by the lime combining with the calcium silicate. ...read more.


Gold is at the bottom of the reactivity and this makes it easy to extract. Gold does not corrode because it doesn't react with much at all. Oxidation: Au(s) + 2CN-(aq) --> (Au(CN)2)-(aq) + e- Reduction: O2(g) +2H2O(l) +4e- --> 4OH-(aq) 4Au(s) + 8CN-(aq) + 2H2O(l) +O2(g) --> 4Au(CN)2-(aq) +4OH-(aq) The Au(CN)2-(aq) is separated from the pulp using activated carbon. The gold is then recovered by adding Zinc (metal ion displacement) or by electrolysis. The dissolved Au(CN)2- is separated from the pulp by adsorption on activated carbon in adsorption tanks. The activated carbon is made from vegetable matter such as fruit pips, coconut husks or peat by heating to about 900deg C in the presence of steam and the absence of air. Some ores require additional processing before being treated using the CIP process. This treatment may involve flotation, which serves to concentrate the ore, and roasting, which destroys the mineral structure and makes the gold more accessible to leaching by cyanide. The remaining concentrate can then be successfully treated using the carbon-in-pulp process. ...read more.

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Response to the question

The student has answered the questions well going into great detail about the processes. They have appeared to have answer the question fully.

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Response to the question

The student has answered the questions well going into great detail about the processes. They have appeared to have answer the question fully.

Level of analysis

The fact that equations and diagrams that are relevant and explained not just put in for the sake of shows that the student knows what they are talking about. But some words I do believe could have been explained to a greater extent because it left me wondering if tne student did at some points know what they were talking about. Otherwise this is a well planned and thought out response. The fact that background information has been given on the two metals gives the reader a context in which to place the two extraction processes. Underlining key phrases and terms is a scientific skill that will help you pick up marks easier as the examiner will not have go hunting for the marking points they will be immediately brought to his attention.

Quality of writing

The technical terms used are to the level expected at GCSE and in some cases go beyond this level. The student has followed scientific conventions and rules about writing about process by not dramatising or adding in information that is not relevant. The spelling, punctuatuon and grammar are all fine. Just remember that explain terms and phrases that you would not have understood before you went on the course to show your teacher/the examiner what you have learnt as this will help you gain extra marks.

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Reviewed by cheekymokeyxxx 10/02/2012

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