Electrochemical Characterization of a Semiconductor ZnS Concentrate During Oxidative Leaching

Choi, Wan-Kyu ; Torma, Arpad E.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 13
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1990
The electrochemical reactions involved in a zinc sulfide flotation concentrate leaching with sulfuric acid in presence and absence of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans, as well as with ferric chloride - hydrochloric acid containing media, have been investigated. The cyclic voltammetric measurements revealed that many intermediate electrochemical reactions are involved in the zinc sulfide leaching. Using chronoamperometric and chronopotentiometric techniques, it was found that the leaching process is controlled by solid - state diffusion. The activation energy of solid - state diffusion process was determined by the Price's approach to be 21.3 kJ. The leaching mechanism is discussed in terms of solid - state properties (energy bondings) of the high energy gap solid zinc sulfide semiconductor and energy density states of redox systems of acidic leach media. A generalized model for the mechanism of zinc sulfide oxidation is present.
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