How to Separate Precious Metal

House hold metallic objects and circuits comprise of one or more than one precious metal more often than not and just because we don’t know how to extract that metal, we lose the chance to earn some money. The main process which is used for metal separation is adsorption. In this process, the solid metallic components in a substance are separated from a liquid. The most common industrial adsorbents are activated carbon, silica gel, and alumina. In this process, we will separate gold from a gold plated circuit by using silica as an adsorbent.


– Tilting furnace

– Silica

– Gold-plated circuit

– Sodium borate


  • 1

    Heat up the circuit

    The first step in the separation of metal is to heat up the circuit in the tilting furnace for about 1200 degree Celsius. Please ensure that you are wearing proper protective equipment when operating on the furnace.

  • 2

    Slag formation

    The next step is the formation of slag and that is done by introducing silica and the sodium borate chemicals on the top of the gold plated circuit at high temperatures. These chemicals, known as fluxes, are used to react with the circuit and combine with the circuit constituents other than gold to form new compounds. Again ensuring safety, while handling the chemicals, is a key.

  • 3

    Allow the metal to dissolve

    The slag is not formed immediately. It normally takes about an hour or two for the metal to react with the chemicals, and that too at temperatures close to 1400 degree Celsius.

  • 4

    Gold separation takes place

    Keep on increasing the temperature of the furnace until molten gold start to separate from the slag and starts to flow down the smelter. This separation takes place because the physical properties of gold, importantly the density and melting point, are very different from that of the slag material. After removing the gold, it is a general practice to refine it further. The slag is also removed from the furnace, and other compounds of the circuit can be extracted from it.

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