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Copper can be extracted by hydrometallurgy but not zinc. Explain.

Copper can be extracted by hydrometallurgy but not zinc. Explain.

Grade:upto college level

1 Answers

Raheema Javed
156 Points
6 years ago
The reduction potentials of zinc and iron are lower than that of copper. In hydrometallurgy, zinc and iron can be used to displace copper from their solution.
But to displace zinc more reactive metals, i.e., metals with lower reduction potentials than zinc such as Mg, Ca, K, etc are required. But all these metals react with water to evolve H2 gas. As a result, all these metals cannot be used to extract zinc.

Hence copper can be extracted by hydrometallurgy but not zinc.

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