oa Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy - The mechanism of the adsorption of gold cyanide on activated carbon

Volume 80, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0038-223X



X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy showed that the adsorption of gold cyanide on carbon in the presence or absence of electrolytes and acids proceeds by the same mechanism. Although the identity of the gold cyanide adsorbate is not known, the mechanism appears to have an initial adsorption stage that involves the adsorption of an ion pair: Mn+[Au(CN)2]n where Mn+ is a metal ion (for example Na+, K+ and Ca2+) that has a lower solubility than the Au(CN)2 anion in the adsorption medium, followed by a reduction step in which either a sub-stoichiometric Au(CN)x surface species or a cluster-type compound of gold is formed.

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