Nickel is extracted from ores via the Mond process, in which nickel oxides are purified through multiple steps into pure nickel metal. It is placed with hydrogen and carbon monoxide gases at 122 degrees Fahrenheit, which converts it to impure nickel. This impure nickel then reacts with the carbon monoxide, becoming nickel tetracarbonyl. This is then heated to 446 degrees Fahrenheit, which releases the carbon monoxide gas and leaves pure nickel metal.Continue Reading
Relatively pure coins made of nickel were used as far back as 235 BCE in China, but it was first documented as a unique metal after extraction in 1751. It was initially seen as worthless, but its many uses were soon discovered. Nickel is a very useful metal for making alloys, adding strength, hardness and corrosion resistance. It is used in silver plating, and is a key ingredient in stainless steel, one of the most-used alloys.
While nickel does occur naturally as a pure metal in the form of cubic crystals, it is generally mined from mixed ores. As a pure metal, it is malleable and ductile and has moderate thermal and electrical conductivity. Nickel is also a magnetic metal below 653 degrees Fahrenheit. It is somewhat reactive with dilute nitric, hydrochloric and sulfuric acids.Learn more about Geology
As with most ores, mercury recovery is achieved through underground mining. The mercury is conventionally mined and blasted and then scraped or mechanically loaded onto ore cars.Full Answer >
Metal extraction from ores occurs in many different ways involving physical, chemical and electrical means. Even ores of the same metal sometimes require different methods of separation depending on the concentration of the metal and its chemical composition within the ore.Full Answer >
Copper is obtained through mining processes from copper-bearing ores such as bornite, cuprite, covellite, tenorite, chalcocite and malachite. Much of the copper mined today comes from copper ore rich deposits in countries like Canada, the United States, Zaire, Chile, Peru and Zambia. The extraction and refining of copper date back to ancient times and have been in use by humans for the last 11,000 years.Full Answer >
Iron ores in the form of hematite (ferrous oxide) and magnetite are removed from the earth through mining. The use of heavy mining equipment is necessary to dig out large pits in an area with a large deposit of iron ore; however, because iron does not occur naturally, it is necessary to use a blast furnace to separate or refine iron from the other substances in the iron ore.Full Answer >