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Publication numberUS700563 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 20, 1902
Filing dateJul 10, 1900
Priority dateJul 10, 1900
Publication numberUS 700563 A, US 700563A, US-A-700563, US700563 A, US700563A
InventorsSamuel S Sadtler
Original AssigneeSamuel S Sadtler
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Process of extracting metals from ores and scrap containing same.
US 700563 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

No. 700,563. Patented May 20, |902. v



(Application tiled July 10, 1900. Renewed Apr. 11,l 1902.)




(SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 700,563, dated May 20, 1902.

Application filed .Tuly 10, 1900. Renewed April 11, 1902. Serial No. 102,457. (No specimens.)

T0 all-whom t may concern.-

Be it known that I, SAMUEL S. SADTLER, a citizen of the United States, residing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, have invented certain Improvements in Processes of Extracting Metals from Orcs and Scrap Containing the Same, of which the followingis a-sp'ecification.

My invention relates to .certain improvements in the process of extracting zinc and other metals from native sul-tid ores, and has for its object'the obtaining lofthe metals in a high State of purity, with sulfur as a by-product, at a comparatively small expense. Y

The accompanying gure shows one arrangement of apparatus for carrying out kmy improved process.

In the case of the native sulfid of zinc,y

known generally as zinc-blende, the ore concentrate is ground to such a l'ineness that it will pass through a sieve of about two hundred mesh. It is then placed in a tank, preferably of the form shown at B, provided with means ofagitation E, and a calculated amount of solution of caustic soda of about ten-per cent. strength is run in. Chlorin gas is then caused to enter the tank from perforated pipe J, situated below the level of the alkaline solution, and hypochlorite of soda is thereby formed, the following reaction taking place:

This in turn causes a solution of the zinc of the ore with the formation of zincate of soda and the separation of sulfur, substantially as shown in the following reaction:

The liquid rendered turbid by the separated sulfur is allowed to settle, preferably, in auother tank, and when clear is run into the cathode-compartment N 0f the electrolyzer F.

Thel anode-compartment EV is separated from that containing the cathode by a porous diaphragm -(shownatD) and is preferably filled with a solution from which the zinc has been previously deposited in the cathodecompartment. This may, however, be a fresh alkaline solution containing sodium chlorid with an excess of caustic soda. A current of electricity from any suitable source of Velectrical energy is passed through the two solutions, enterng at the anode A and leaving at the cathode C, and zinc is deposited on the cathode until the maximum amount of chlorin that can be dissolved by the solution has been formed at the anode. The following shows the double decomposition which takes place:

As the metal to be obtained by the use of my process is deposited from double salts it is readily obtained as a smooth coherent deposit, in the case ot" zinc capable of being rolled into sheets or melted into spelter. This is due to the generally-admitted fact that the real cathion in this reaction is the alkali metal, (in the above-described process sodium,) which acts as soon as formed in a purely chemical way on the double salt in contact with the cathode-surface, thereby depositing theless positive metal, (Zinc.)

The solution found at the end ofthe process in the anode-compartment, consisting, as it does, of sodium hypochlorite and sodium chlorid for'medby the chlorin set free, with preferably an excess of sodium hydrate, is conveyed by suitable means to the dissolvingtank and is ready t0 be used on another charge of ore.

similarly conveyed to the'anod e-compartment. It will be seen from-the above description that my process is cyclic in its operation, the same solutions being used repeatedly.

In preparing the original hypochlorite solution and in carrying out the electrolytic deposition Vcare m u'stbe' taken to provide for the formation of hypochlorite instead of hypochlorate, it being understood by those skilled in the art that the formation of one or the other of these is largely dependent upon the temperature and concentration ot' the solutions.

It will be understood that I dojnot confine ess, since I may employ a number. ofdissolving tanks or vats and a battery of any convenient number of electrolyzers, each having one or more sets ot' anode and cathode compartments.

The solution ofsodium hydrate found in the cathode-compartment is myself to the use ofbut-single units in my arrangement of apparatus for the above proc- IOO It will be noted that the metal obtained by my process is very pure, because only those metals Whose oxids in the nascent state are soluble in caustic alkali can be in the solution.

While I prefer to use sodi um hydrate as my alkali, it is obvious that a hydrate of any'of the alkali metals may be used, and instead of chlorin being employed to form a hypochlorite bromin or other halogen may be used to form a hypobromite, dac., in the same Way. Furthermore, I do not con tine myself to forming my solutions by adding a halogen to a caustic alkali, but may obtain the same by direct electrolysis of a salt of a halogen with any particular alkali or mixtures of salts of halogens and alkali metals.

It will be seen that the above-described method of treating ore, which depends on a combined action of alkali and hypochlorte, is radically dierent'from those processes in which the roasted ores are-dissolved in acid vsolutions or by neutral and acid solutions with vthe help of oxidizing agents. In these zinc is dissolved by a simple salt and cannot for obvious reasons be deposited in a coherent smooth film, as is the case when it is formed in alkaline solutions from double salts.

This process is not confined to the treatment of zinc ore alone, as it may be used With similar advantages upon any ore of a metal whose oxid is capable of forming soluble compounds with the alkali-metal hydroxids. It will also be understood that the process is not confined lo the extraction of these metals from their ores, as it may be applied with advantage to recovering them from galvanized iron, tin-scrap, zinc-crust, and from other similarcombinations Where the metal has been deposited as a film or coveringr over the surface ofanother metal.

I claim as my invention- 1. The process of obtaining the metals, whose oxidsi'orm soluble compounds with the 4alkali-.metal hydroxids, from any material in which these metals are present, said process consisting in treating said material with a solution `formed by treating a caustic alkali with one of the halogens and decomposing 4the Iresulting solutionV in an electrolytic cell, the metal being deposited on a suitable cathode, substantially as described.

2. The process of obtaining from their sul- 1lid ores metals Whose oxids form soluble compounds with the alkali-metal hydroxids, said. process consisting in dissolving the ore in a solution formed by treating a solution of a caustic alkali with any one of the halogens, land decomposing the resulting solution in an electrolytic cell, substantially as described.

3. The process of extracting from their sulfid ores metals whose oxids form soluble compounds with the alkali-metal hydroxids, said process consisting in dissolving said-ore in a solution formed by treating a solution. of a caustic alkali with a halogen and decomposing the resulting solution in the cathode-coinpartment of an electrolytic cell, the anodecompartment being separated therefrom, and containing a solution of caustic alkali, substantially as described.

4. The process of extracting from their ores metals Whose oxids are soluble in the alkalimetal hydroxids, said process consisting in dissolving said ore in a solution formed by treating a solution of caustic alkali With a halogen, decomposing the resulting solution in the cathode-compartmentof an electrolytic cell, and in the anode-compartment of said cell simultaneously regenerating a solution from which metal has previously been separated, said solution having been transferred from the cathode to the anode compartment before beginning the operation, substantially as described.

5. The herein-described process of extracting from their sulfid ores metals Whose oxids form soluble compounds With the alkalimetal hydroxids, said process consisting in dissolving said ore in a solution of sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydrate, separating the sulfur therein formed, and decomposing the remaining solution in the cathode-compartment of an electrolytic cell, substantially as described.

6. The process of extracting z inc from the sulfid ore of the same, said process consisting in dissolving said ore in a solution containing sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydrate, separating the sulfur formed therein, decomposing the remaining solution in the cathodecompartment of an electrolytic cell, and simultaneously regenerating, in the anodecompartment of said cell, a solution of sodium hydrate left in the cathode-compartment and transferred therefrom to the anodecompartment after a previous operation of the same cell, substantially as described.

`In testimony whereof I have Vsigned my name to this specication in the presence of two subscribing Witnesses.






Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2955078 *Oct 16, 1956Oct 4, 1960Horizons Titanium CorpElectrolytic process
US5106467 *Oct 5, 1990Apr 21, 1992Armco Steel Company, L.P.Alkaline leaching of galvanized steel scrap
US5302261 *Aug 17, 1993Apr 12, 1994Noranda Inc.Power assisted dezincing of galvanized steel
Cooperative ClassificationC22B19/22