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Ion Elutriation Of Silver And Free Cyanide From Wastewater
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    Ion elutriation was used to extract silver cyanide complexes and free cyanide from aqueous streams containing up to 10 ppm silver and 5 ppm free cyanide. Screening tests selected nine of 350 different surfactants for further, larger scale experiments. The screening procedure used 0.1 g of each of the surfactants in 300 mL of synthetic wastewater. Air was sparged into the test cell at 50 cc/min. The foam was refluxed during the tests and was not sampled. Samples of the solution were taken at specified intervals and analyzed by wet chemical methods for free cyanide and by atomic absorption for silver content. The most effective surfactants lowered the silver and free cyanide concentrations to less than 0.5 ppm in 1 h or less. These surfactants were quaternary amine salts with one long chain (C12-C18) organic group and three methyl groups. Experiments using 3 L batches of wastewater or an ion elutriation cell continuously fed with solution draining from an inactive heap leach operation confirmed the results from the screening tests.

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