Oxidation-Precipitation Method to Treat Cyanide Effluents

Nava, F. ; Hiskey, J. B. ; Jara, J. ; Scheiner, B. J. ; Soto, H.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 14
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1993
Laboratory tests showed that ozone can destroy free cyanide and weakly complexed cyanide (copper and zinc cyanides). The iron cyanide complexes were resilient to ozonation but they were effectively eliminated by precipitation with Fe (II) ions under controlled pH conditions. Tests carried out with effluents from a number of gold mills confirmed the results obtained previously in the laboratory. The industrial samples contained cyanide in the form of free cyanide and also complex copper, zinc and iron cyanides. Solutions that contained up to 184 mg/L total cyanide, after the ozone treatment analyzed only 2-3 mg/L dissociable cyanide and 50-90 mg/L CN(t) (accounted for by iron complexes). After precipitation with ferrous ions total cyanide was reduced below 1.5 mg/L. For most solutions ozone consumption ranges from 3 to 6 g per g of cyanide destroyed. However, certain impurities (such as SCN and S203 ), present in some effluents, increase ozone consumption and make it more difficult to reduce copper concentration to satisfactory levels.
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