Copper and Gold are a critical component in todays modern industry, especially copper as it is most commonaly used in electrical wiring. Below is a table of the usage of copper in America.
Building Wire 16%.
Plumbing & Heating 14%.
Electric Utilities 9%.
Air Conditioning & .
Commercial Refrigeration. 8%.
Factory Equipment. 6%.
Appliances & Extension Cords. 3%.
In America alone copper is widely used for lots of purposes, which many of us take for granted or just haven't noticed it was there, The usage of copper is in increasing, in the 1970s a car was made up of 35 pounds of copper and today it has increased to about 50 - 90 pounds of copper in 1 car.
The Gold Industry is also a big industry today, golds main uses are in coinage, jewellery, electronics, dentistry and decorative coatings,.
Now that's whats gold and copper are used for, but where do we get the gold and copper from? Gold and Copper are extracted from there ores, .
Extracting Copper From its ore there are different methods used to extract copper from its ore, .
"some mining companies make use of bacterial leaching solutions to extract copper from low-grade ores and tailing dumps- (Article 2).
the copper ions can be removed from bacterial leaching solutions by a process called Ligand Exchange extraction, metals such as Iron, Fe2+ and Fe3+ are left in the solution.
"a compound which is a good ligand for copper ions is dissolved in an organic solvent- E.g. Kerosene, Kerosene is immiscible with water. When the kerocene is mixed with water which is containing copper ions the reaction bellow takes place.
Cu2+ (aq) + 2LH(org) « CuL2 (org) + 2H+(aq) L represents Ligand.
This reaction removes copper ions which are in the water and transfers the ions to the organic solvent, the equation above is a reversible reaction, it can be reversed by mixing the organic solvent with a small amount of concentrated acid, this will push the copper ions back into the aqueous solution,.