Metallurgy (Metal refining) is the process of purifying an impure material into a pure one. This process is very different from smelting and calcining because it does not involve a core chemical change of the raw material. In metallurgy, the final material is always chemically identical to the original material; it is just in a purer form. There are many different techniques used to doing metallurgy like pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical methods.
Pyrometalluary is when metallurgical ores and/or minerals are treated to a thermal heat to bring out a physical or chemical concentrated transformation. By putting materials through a pyrometallurgical treatment, the end product is generally a pure metal and a transitional compound. Hydrometallurgy is when you process the extractive metallurgy by way of aqueous chemistry. The end products that are produced from this process are generally ores and concentrated material.
The two main metal materials used for metallurgy are lead and copper. However, other metals like iron and precious metals (like gold and silver) also go through these methods.
In order to create lead, there are three techniques a metallurgist can use. Those techniques are cupellation, Patterson process, and the Parkes process. Cupellation is the most ancient of the methods. Lead would need to be melted into a bone cupel and air blown across the surface. This would allow the metallurgist to gather the lead deposits. Now, the Patterson process was created in the year 1833. When using this technique, a metallurgist needs to know that lead and silver melded at different temperatures. In this technique, lead and silver were both heated in the same pot then left to cool. The lead would solidify and then the process would be repeated but in a different pot. This would continue until silver and lead were in its pure form. The Parkes process, which was created in 1850, uses zinc. Zinc forms a substance that silver can bid and enter lead. When it does this, the lead floats up and is skimmed off the top which allows the silver to be recovered.
Copper has two processes in which it is refined. One is called fire refining. Fire refining is a process where you repeatedly melted to purify the copper compound by oxidizing and reducing it alternately. The other process is called electrolytic refining and this process makes electricity pass through the impure copper anode and cathode to remove the impurities.
Copper and lead are not the only two metals used for refining, but they are metals that we use every day in our daily life, so it is important for people to become informed on the basics on how the metals are created.
North American Palladium
The North American Palladium is a mining company whose home office is in Toronto Canada. This company is involved in the exploration of not only Palladium but also, other metals such as, gold, nickel, copper, and platitinum. The company formed in 1968 and was known as...