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Author Topic: Activated Carbon  (Read 1203 times)

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Offline Oro

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Activated Carbon
« on: July 30, 2018, 05:46:18 PM »
I need some advice - am going to batch leach some milled ore samples and plan on using AC to cement out the values.  Instead of stripping the AC I was wondering if it can be smelted, maybe with a bit of litharge as a collector and some borax to slag off contaminants.  I understand the carbon can be ďashedĒ in an electric muffle furnace (I donít have one) but assume a gas furnace or torch would create too much wind and either volatilize the microscopic gold particles and/or blow the particles and ash out of the vessel - hence the smelting question.  Iím talking about less than a handful of AC.

Offline Shrewdly

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Re: Activated Carbon
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2019, 11:41:25 AM »
Hello Oro:  Activated Carbon (AC) is no different than the charcoal briquettes used in barbecues. As such I would simply places your AC on a glazed plate and burn it as you would burn briquettes.  The resulting ash can be collected and smelted.  I would stay away from litharge as an oxidizer.   When you use litharge you end up with a lead button containing the gold and silver.  This lead button is then placed in an bone ash cupell and then heated sothat the lead is absorbed by the cupell.  This stage also produces lead vapours that are quite toxic.  Unless you have a good fume hood that will transport these vapours away safely you could poison yourself and others.  I would suggest using an oxidizer such as  sodium nitrate or potassium nitrate.  The standard flux that we used in the gold smelting operation I worked at  1:1:1:0.25 .  This being the ratios by volume of Ash : Oxidizer (sodium nitrate) : Silica (quartz sand) : Borax.   Silica is simply glass, you can crush up pop bottles and use them as a source of silica.  Borax is an eutectic. Eutectics are substances that lowers the melting point of whatever you are melting in this case gold. Mix the flux and ash together, place the mixture in a crucible and fire up your furnace.  Once the reactions are over and the gold is melted pour the material into a mold usually something like cast iron. When cool chip off the slag and the rest is your gold/ silver button. Good Luck


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