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Separating a mix of gold and iron powder


Q. I have this mixture of gold and iron dust. Very fine particles of 0.3 to 0.5 micron range. They are in a very fine mixture as you can see. I require to separate them using chemicals. I need the gold in the powdered form and to somehow vanish the iron. Is there any chemistry that can help me achieve that? Please do help me if you can.

Divies Tuladhar
- London, UK


A. Hi Divies. Many acids will dissolve iron but not gold, including simple & inexpensive acids as sulfuric & hydrochloric. But I don't think I'd do it that way. I'd probably separate it magnetically, or even centrifugally in a water solution. Please introduce yourself and your situation. Is this is a school homework assignment where the answer is supposed to help educate you about scientific principles without worrying about the nitty-gritty ... or is it a one-time lab experiment ... or are you trying to develop a practical industrial-scale continuous operation? Thanks.

Good luck :-)

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


Q. Well I have sort of the same question. I tried to separate it using a magnet but soon enough the magnet couldn't pull any more iron out, however there was still a lot of iron left. And I've also tried it centrifugally and for some reason, either I did it wrong or my filter was not fine enough to catch the gold. What choices do I have from there to separate it, I really just can't go out and buy some sulfuric acid.

Jessica Sierra Gibson
- Montecello, Kentucky, US

December 15, 2017

Q. How to separate metal mixture powder

Afzal Selot
metal - Surat, Gujarat, India

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