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com JEE – MAIN

Metallurgy : The branch of chemistry which deals with the method of extraction of metals from their ores.
Metal : The element which tends to form positive ion is called a metal.
Minerals : The various compounds of metals which occur in the earth's crust and are obtained by mining are called
minerals. In earth crust order of abundance of elements is. O > Si > Al > Fe
A mineral may be single compound or a mixture.
Ore : The mineral from which a metal can be profitably and easily extracted is called an ore.
Gangue or matrix : The undesirable impurities present in an ore are called gangue.
The extraction of a metal from its ore is completed in the following four steps.
(A) Concentration of the ore (B) Conversion of concentration ore into oxide form.
(C) Reduction to the metal (D) Refining of the metal.
The removal of impurities from the ore is called its concentration or to increase the concentration of ore in ore
Two process – (1) Physical (2) Chemical
(i) Gravity separation (Lavigation)
This method of concentration of the ore is based on the difference in the specific lavigation gravities of the
ore and the gangue particles.
Powdered ore is agitated with a running stream of water. The lighter gangue particles are taken away by
water while heavier ore particles settle down. Ex. Oxygenated ore
(ii) Froth Floatation method
This method is mainly employed for the concentration of sulphide ores.
The method is based on the different wetting characteristics of the gangue and the sulphide ore with water
and oil. The gangue preferrentially wetted by water and the ore by oil.
The crushed ore along with water is taken in a floatation cell. Various substances are added depending on
the nature of the ore and a current of air is blown in. The substances added are usually of three types.
(a) Frothers :–
They generate a stable froth which rises to the top of the tank. Example of frother is pine oil,

Eucliptusoil, etc.
(b) Collectors or floating agents :–
These attach themselves by polar group to the grains of the ores which then become water repellant
and pass on into the froth. Example: sodium ethyl xanthate.
(c) Activators or Depressants :–
These reagents activate or depress the flotation properly and help in the separation of different
sulphide ores present in a mixture.
An example of depressant is NaCN. An activator is CuSO4.
(iii) Magnetic separation:-
If the ore or the gangue is attracted by a magnet, the two can be separated by this method.
SnO2 having the impurities of FeWO4. FeO.Cr2O3 having the impurities of SiO2.

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2. CHEMICAL SEPARATION (LEACHING) : In this process we use suitable agent which react with ore to form
water soluble complex while impurities will remain insoluble. Applicable for Al, Ag,Au.

Aluminium :  Re d Bauxite  Al2 O 3 .2 H 2 O  FeO (Impurities)

 White Bauxite  Al O .2H O  SiO (Impurities)
2 3 2 2

(I) RED BAUXITE : Two process

(i) Baeyer's process : NaOH is used.
Al2O3 + NaOH NaAlO2 HOH
  Al(OH)3 + NaOH

FeO  NaOH  X

(ii) Hall's process : Na2 CO3 is used.
Al2O3 + Na2CO3 2NaAlO2 
 Al(OH) + Na CO
3 2 3

(II) WHITE BAUXITE : One process.

Serpeck's process : (C+N2) is used
1 8 00  C H O
Al2O3 + N2   AlN 
 Al(OH)3 + NH3

C + SiO2 CO2 Si
(I) Ag
Ag2S + NaCN 
 Na [Ag (CN)2] + Na2 SO4
Na[Ag (CN)2] + Zn Na2 [Zn (CN)4] + Ag 
(II) Au
Au + KCN + H2O 
 K [Au (CN)2] + KOH
K[Au (CN)2] + KOH + Zn K2 ZnO2 + KCN + H2O + Au 
(a) Calcination
Calcination is a process in which ore is heated, generally in the absence of air, to expel water from a hydrated,ore
hydroxide ore and oxide or carbon dioxide from a carbonate ore at temperature below their melting points.
For Example

2Fe2O3. 3H2O  2Fe2O3 + 3H2O

CaCO3  CaO + CO2
Advantages of Calcination :–
i) Moisture is removed.
) Organic matter is destroyed
(iii) The hydroxide and carbonates ores are converted into their oxides.
(iv) The mass become porous and easily workable
(v) Vaporised impurities S, As, P etc. are removed
(b) Roasting
The removal of the excess sulphur contained in sulphide ores in the form of SO2 then in the by heating in an
excess of air is called roasting.
The concentrated sulphide ore is heated in reverberatory furnace, below its melting point in the presence of an
excess of air with or without the addition of an external substance.
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2ZnS + 3O2  2ZnO + 2SO2
ZnS + 2O2  ZnSO4
CuS + 2O2  CuSO4
Advantages of Roasting :–
) Excess of sulphur is removed as volatile oxide.
S + O2  SO2 
) The metal sulphide is converted into metal oxide or sulphate.
(iii) Impurities of arsenic antimony & phosphorous are removed as their volatile oxides.
Sb4 + 3O2  2Sb2O3 
As4 + 3O2  2As2O3 
P4 + 3O2 2P2O3
(iv) ore will be porus so reduction is easy
The calcined or roasted ore is then reduced to the metallic state in either of the following ways.
(I) Chemical reduction :
(i) Reduction by carbon (Smelting)
"Reduction of the oxide with carbon at high temperature is known as smelting".
The oxides of less electropositive metals like Pb, Zn, Fe, Sn, Cu etc. are reduced by strongly heating
them with coal or coke, in the blast furnace.
Metal Oxide + Coke + flux Metal + CO2  +Slag.
Substance used to convert non fusible impurities into fusible one. Three types of flux are used.
(a) Acidic Flux : Substance used to remove basic impurities (metal oxide)

For example CaO + SiO 2  CaSiO 3

(basic imp.) (acidic flux) (Slag)

Acidic flux are non metal oxide (SiO2, P2O5 etc.)

(b) Basic flux : Substance used to remove acidic impurities (non metal oxide)

For example CaO + SiO 2  CaSiO 3

¯ ¯ ¯
(basic flux) (acidic im p urities) (Slag)

Basic flux are metal oxide. (CaO, MgO, etc.)


(c) Neutral flux : Substance used in electrolytic reduction to decrease the fusion temperature and to
increase the conductivity of the solution by providing free ions.
For example : (Na3AlF6 + CaF2) , CaCl2 etc.
(ii) Alumino thermite process : In this process those metal oxide will be reduced which required high
temperature and at high temperature carbon react with metal to from metal carbide.
In this process we use aluminium as a reducing agent due to
(a) Al has greater affinity towards oxygen as it forms most stable oxide (Al2O3)
(b) This reaction is highly exothermic in nature and once it start it will continue till all the metal oxide
reduce in metal.
For Cr, Mn, Fe :
Cr2O3 + Al Al2O3 + 2Cr + Q cal
Fe2O3 + Al Al2O3 + 2Fe + Q cal
3 Mn3O4 + 8Al  4Al2O3 + 9 Mn + Q cal

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(II) Self reduction
Compounds of certain metals are reduced to metal without using any additional reducing agent. ores of
Cu, Pb, Zn, Hg etc.
Their sulphide ores are partially roasted to give some oxide. This oxide is now reduced to the metal by
the remaining sulphide ore at elevated temperatures in the absence of air. The process is known as self
Self reduction for Pb :–
2PbS + 3O2   2PbO + 2SO2

(Galena) (air)

PbS + 2PbO   
High temp
Absenceof air 3Pb + SO2 
(Self reduction)
Self reduction for Cu :–

2 Cu2O + Cu2S  6 Cu + SO2

(III) Complex formation

Silver and gold are extracted by a method involving complex formation.
Powdered argentite is reacted with a dilute solution of sodium cyanide in the presence of air. The silver
from the ore is dissolved in the cyanide solution forming sodium argentocyanide.

4NaCN  2Na [Ag(CN)2] + Na2SO4

Ag2S +
(Powdered argentite)
Now metallic zinc is added to the complex salt solution which being more electropositive element than
silver, displaces it from the solution.

2Na [Ag(CN)2] + Zn  Na2 [Zn(CN)4] (aq) + 2Ag 

Black ppt.

(IV) Electrolytic reduction

This process is mainly used for the extraction of highly electropositive metals. I A, II A & Al
Electrolysis is carried out in a large cells and a small amount of another suitable electrolyte is added
(a) Lowers the melting point of the main electrolyte
(b) Enhances its conductivity \\NODE6\E_NODE6 (E)\DATA\2014\KOTA\JEE-MAIN\SMP\CHEMISTRY\METALLURGY\ENG\02-THEORY.P65

(c) Reduces corrosion troubles

e.g. Manufacture of metallic sodium (Down's process)
Molten NaCl containing a little CaCl2 is electrolyzed between graphite anode and iron cathode. The
various reactions that take place are :

On Fusion : 

NaCl  Na+ + Cl–

(Ions become mobile)

On Electrolysis : At Cathode :– Na+ + e–  Na (reduction)
(Metallic sodium)
At Anode :– 2Cl  Cl2 (g) + 2e–

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HALL HEROULT PROCESS : This process is used for extraction of Al from alumina. The extraction of Al
from Al2O3 is quite difficult because –
) Fusion temperature of Alumina is quite high (2050°C). Even more than boilling point of Al (1150°C).
) It is a bad conductor of electricity to overcome these difficulties we mix some amount of neutral flux
[Na3AlF6 + CaF2]. Neutral flux provides free ion to the solution which decreases the fusion temperature
of Alumina from 2050°C to 950°C.
Mechanism : No specifie mechanism
(I) From Cryolite
AlF3 Al+3 + 3F–
At Cathode : Al+3 + 3e–  Al (reduction)
At Anode : 3F– –3e–  F
2 2
F2 reacts with Al2O3.
3F2 + Al2O3 2AlF3 + 2 O2

So liberated gas at anode is O2. Which on reaction with graphite anode convert into /CO2 and enode the anode
C + O2 CO2 
(II) From Al2O3
At Cathode : Al+3 + 3e–  Al (reduction)
At Anode : C(s) + 2O–2  CO2(g) + 4e–
The main drawback of this process it that anode snoued be changed frequently.
Metals obtained by the reduction of its compound still contains some objectionable substance and have to be
refined. Depending upon the nature of the metal and impurities, the following methods are used for purification
of the metals.
(i) Liquation
This method is used for the refining of metals having low melting point and are associated with high
melting impurities.
eg. : Pb, Sn, Sb and Bi.
The impure metal is heated on the sloping hearth of a furnace.
The pure metal flows down leaving behind the non- fusible material on the hearth.
(ii) Distillation
Metals having low boiling point are refined by this method, for eg. : zinc, cadmium and mercury.

(iii) Zone refining

Metals of very high purity are obtained by zone refining.
This refining method is based on the fact that impurities tend to remain dissolved in molten metal.
Ge, Si and Ga used as semiconductors are refined in this manner.
(iv) Distribution method
The parke's process is used for the desilverization of argentiferous lead is based on distribution principle.
The principle follows as
(a) Molten zinc and molten lead form a two phase system.
(b) Silver is more soluble in molten zinc than the molten lead.
(c) The Zn - Ag alloy is lighter than Pb and freezes fast.
(d) The floating solidified Zn - Ag alloy can be easily removed from molten Pb.
(e) From Zn - Ag alloy, zinc is separated by distillation.

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(i) Cupellation : This process is used to purify silver containing the impurities of Pb.
This porcess is used when impurity have greater affinity towards O2 while netal does not have.
Impurity + O2 Volatile oxide
Impure metal + O2
Metal + O2 X
(ii) Polling : Used to purify Cu, Pb.
This process is used for the metal having the impurity of their own oxide. In this process a wooden
poles is heated with molten metal, which provide C and H to metal oxide which reduced impurity
of metal oxide to metal .
CuO + H2 Cu + H2O 
CuO + C Cu + CO 
(iii) Bessemerisation : Impure metal is heated in a furnace and a blast of compressed air is blown
which oxidised the impurity into their oxides and that can be removed in the form of slag .
2Mn + O2  2MnO
Si + O2 SiO2
Metals such as Cu, Ag, Zn, Sn, Pb, Al, Ni, Cr are refined by this method.
The impure metal is made the anode of a electrolytic cell, while cathode is thin plate of pure metal.
Electrolyte is the solution of a double salt of the metal.
On passing the electric current pure metal from the anode dissolves and gets deposited at the cathode.
The soluble impurities go into the solution while insoluble or less electropositive impurities settle down
below the anode as anode mud or sludge. For Example
– Electrorefining of Copper
Anode : Blister copper (98%)
Cathode : Pure copper
Electrolyte : An aqueous solution of CuSO4 (15%) + 5% dil H2SO4
– Electrorefining of Silver
Anode : Impure silver
Cathode : Pure silver
Electrolyte : Aq AgNO3 + 1% dil HNO3 on passing electricity anode
dissolves and pure Ag is deposited at the cathode.
– Electrorefining of Pb (Bett's process)
Anode : Impure lead., Cathode : Pure lead.
Electrolyte : A mixture of PbSiF6 and H2SiF6

(a) Employed to get metal in very pure form of small quantities.

(b) In this method, the metal is converted into a volatile unstable compound
(e.g. iodide), and impurities are not affected during compound formation.
(c) The compound thus obtained is decomposed to get the pure metal.
(d) Employed for purification of metals like titanium and zirconium.
52 3 k
Ti(s) + 2I2 (g)    Ti I4(g)
1700 k
TiI4(g)  
Ti(s)+ 2I2(g)
(ii) Mond's process
Nickel is purified by using CO gas. This involves the formation of nickel tetracarbonyl.
Ni(Impure) + 4CO [Ni(CO)4] Ni(pure) + 4CO 

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Copper occurs in free as well as in combined state. The main ores are as follows.
i) Copper pyrites CuFeS2 or Cu2S. Fe2S3
) Cuprite (Ruby copper) Cu 2 O
(iii) Copper glance Cu2S
(iv) Malachite Cu (OH)2. CuCO3
(v) Azurite Cu(OH)2. 2CuCO3
Copper is extracted from the ores (sulphide) by two process.
1. Pyrometallurgical Process
This is a dry process and applied to high grade ores (containing 4% or more copper).
2. Hydrometallurgical Process
This is a wet process and applied to low grade ores.
1. Extraction from pyrites by pyrometallurgical process (Smelting Process)
) Concentration
The finely powdered ore is concentrated by froth floatation process.
) Roasting
The concentrated ore is heated strongly in presence of air.
Sulphur, arsenic, and antimony are removed in form of their volatile oxides while the proper ore is
converted into a mixture of cuprous and ferrous sulphides.
These sulphides are partially oxidised to oxides.
(a) S + O2  SO2 
(b) 2As2S3 + 9O2  2As2O3 + 6SO2 
(c) 2Sb2S3 + 9O2  2Sb2O3  + 6SO2 
(d) 2Cu2S + 3O2  2Cu2O + 2SO2
2FeS + 3O2  2FeO + 2SO2
(iii) Smelting
The roasted ore is mixed with sand (flux) and coke (fuel) and then heated in water jacketed blast furnace
called smelter.
The oxidation of ferrous sulphide which started during roasting now goes a step further. Ferrous oxide
formed, reacts with sand to form ferrous silicate (slag).
Here some FeS reacts with Cu2O to form Cu2S again.
(a) FeO + SiO2  FeSiO3 (Slag)

(b) Cu2O + FeS  Cu2S + FeO

Slag (forming upper layer) and molten mass consisting of Cu2S and a little Fe (forming lower layer and
commonly called matte) are removed from separate holes.
(iv) Bessemerisation
Molten matte is heated in a Bessemer converter and a blast of air mixed with sand is blown through the molten
Here iron (FeS) is completely removed as slag, a part of Cu2S is oxidised to Cu2O and a part of Cu2S reduces
Cu2O to metallic copper.
(a) 2FeS + 3O2  2FeO + 2SO2 
FeO + SiO2  FeSiO3
(b) 2Cu2S + 3O2  2Cu2O + 2SO2 
2Cu2O + Cu2S  6Cu + SO2

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The molten copper is poured off into sand moulds. As it cools it gives up the dissolved sulphur dioxide
which forms blister on the surface of the metal. Hence the metal thus obtained is called blister copper and
contains 98 percent copper.
(v) Refining of copper
(a) Poling
The molten blister copper is heated in pressure of air and stirred with green wood poles.
S and As are oxidised to their volatile oxides.
Iron is oxidised and forms a scum or slag which is skimmed off.
The cuprous oxide is reduced to Cu by CO and H2 from green wood.

Cu2O + CO  2Cu + CO2 

Cu2O + H2  2Cu + H2O

(b) Electrolytic refining
The electrolytic bath contains an acidified solution of copper sulphate.
Impure copper acts as anode while cathode is of the pure copper strip.
When electric current is passed, there is transfer of pure copper from anode to cathode which
gradually grows in size.
The impurities like Fe, Zn, Ni, Co etc. dissolve in the solution as sulphates and others like Au and
Ag settle down below the anode as anode mud.
The cathode is removed and copper of about 99.99% purity is obtained.

2. Hydrometallurgical Process
Crushed and powdered low grade ore is exposed to air and water then copper sulphide is oxidised to copper
sulphate. Some iron sulphate and sulphuric acid is also produced. The process is completed in about a year. \\NODE6\E_NODE6 (E)\DATA\2014\KOTA\JEE-MAIN\SMP\CHEMISTRY\METALLURGY\ENG\02-THEORY.P65

(a) CuFeS2 + 4O2  CuSO4 + FeSO4

(Copper pyrite)
(b) 2Cu2S + 5O2  2CuSO4 + 2CuO
(Copper glance)

(c) CuCO3. Cu(OH)2 + 2H2SO4  2CuSO4 + CO2  + 3H2O

The pale green liquor draining from the bottom of the heaps is CuSO4 which is collected in pans and
treated with iron scraps which precipitate out copper.

CuSO4 + Fe  FeSO4 + Cu 

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Process inbrief :

Uses :
Copper is the second most useful metal (the first being Iron) because of its stability in air and water and excellent
It isused :–
1. In the manufacture of electrical wires, cables etc.
2. For electroplating.

3. As a coinage metal and in ornaments and jewellery.

4. For the manufacture of alloys like brass (Cu + Zn), bronze (Cu + Sn) German silver (Cu + Zn + Ni) bell
metal (Cu + Sn) gun metal (Cu + Sn + Zn), coppper coins (Cu + Zn + Sn) etc.
Copper sulphate (Blue vitrol). Nila–thotha (CuSO4.5H2O) :

Preparation :- It is prepared by action of dil. H2SO4 on copper scraps in presence of air.

2Cu + 2H2SO4 + O2  CuSO4 + 2H2O
Impurities of FeSO4 can be oxidizied by dil. nitric acid which remain in solution after crystallization.
Properties :-
) Readily soluble in water.
) When heated slowly pentahydrate decomposes in the following stage.
3 5 C
CuSO4.5H2O   CuSO4.3H2O  1
0 0 C 3 0 0 C
 CuSO4.H2O    CuSO4
4 0 0 C
 CuO+SO3
 

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(iii) The crystalline copper (II) sulphate CuSO4.5H2O has the structure in which four water molecules are coordi-
nated in central copper cation at the centre of a square and fifth water molecule is held by a hydrogen bond
between a sulphate ion a coordinated water molecule.
(iv) Fifth water molecule is deeply embeded in the crystal lattice and hence hot easily removed
(v) Aqueous solution of CuSO4 is slowly hydrolysed forming basic copper sulphate.
(vi) If aqueous solution of CuSO4 is saturated with ammonia a deep blue solution is formed CuSO4 + 4NH4OH
 [Cu(NH3)4]SO4 + 4H2O
(Blue colour)
(vii) It dissolve in excess of KCN to give K3[Cu(CN)4]
(viii) 2CuSO4 + 4KI  Cu2I2 + 2K2SO4 + I2
(xi) CuSO4 + Na2S2O3  CuS2O3 + Na2SO4


Ex.1 Matte is obtained after this step -

(1) Froth floatation (2) Roasting (3) Smelting (4) Refining
Sol. (3) Refer process of copper
Ex.2 Copper glance is ........type of ore -
(1) Carbonate (2) Sulphide (3) Oxide (4) Sulphate
Sol. (2) Copper glance, chemical formula is Cu2S.
Ex.3 High purity copper is obtained by -
(1) Zone refining (2) Poling (3) Electrolytic refining (4) Cupelling
Sol. (3) After electrolytic refining. Purity of copper is 99.99% which is enough for electrical applications.


Q1. Copper matte consists of :-

(1) Copper oxide and ferrous sulphide (2) Copper sulphide and ferrous oxide
(3) Copper sulphide and ferrous sulphide (4) Copper oxide and ferrous oxide
Q.2. Reducing agent used for reduction of copper oxide in blast furnace is :-
(1) Coke (2) Lime stone (3) Aluminium (4) No reducing agent is used
Q.3. Product obtained after Bessemerisation is called as........because......
(1) Concentrated copper ; copper percentage is high
(2) Copper matte ; of its appearance
(3) Blister copper ; of its appearance
(4) Ultra pure copper ; 100 percent copper \\NODE6\E_NODE6 (E)\DATA\2014\KOTA\JEE-MAIN\SMP\CHEMISTRY\METALLURGY\ENG\02-THEORY.P65

Answer key : (1) 3 (2) 4 (3) 3

It is the second most (first being aluminium) abundant metal occuring in the earth crust (4.5%). It is present in red
blood, cells of blood.
Ores of Iron
i) Haematite (red) Fe2O3
) Limonite (brown haematite) 2Fe2O3 . 3H2O
(iii) Magnetite Fe3O4
(iv) Siderite FeCO 3
(v) Iron pyrites FeS2
(vi) Copper pyrites CuFeS2

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Types of Iron :
(a) Cast iron or pig iron
It is most impure form of Iron and contains the higest proportion of carbon (2.5 - 4 % ) along with traces
of S, P, Mn and Si.
(b) Wrought iron (Fibrous iron) or malleable iron
It is the purest form of iron and contains minimum amount of carbon (0.12 - 0.25%) and less than 5% of
other impurities.
(c) Steel
It is the most important form of iron and finds extensive applications. As far as carbon content (impurity)
is concerned it is mid-way between cast iron and wrought iron, it contains 0.5- 1.5% carbon.
Thus all the three forms of iron differ in their carbon contents, both iron and steel are obtained from cast
Extraction of Iron
1. Crushing and concentration
The crushed ore is washed with water and then concentrated by electromagnetic process.
2. Roasting and calcination
The concentrated ore is heated in shallow kilns in the presence of excess air. Here
(a) Most of the moisture is removed.
(b) Impurities (like C, S, P, As and Sb) are removed in the form of their volatile oxides.
S + O2  SO2
(c) Carbonates and sulphides are converted into oxides.

FeCO3  FeO + CO2  4FeS2 + 11O2  2Fe2O3 + 8SO2 

(d) Ferrous oxide is oxidised to ferric and thus avoids formation of slag with sand (SiO2)
4FeO + O2  2Fe2O3
FeO + SiO2  FeSiO3 (Slag)
3. Smelting or reduction
The calcined ore (8 parts) mixed with coke, a reducing agent (4 parts) and lime stone a flux (1 part) is reduced
in a blast furnace.
Since the blast furnace has different temperatures at different zones, different reactions take place at different
(a) Zone of combustion (1500 -16000C)
This zone is near at the bottom of the furnace and little above the tuyers. It increases temp. of the furnace

because of exothermic reactions.

2C + O2  2CO + 58 k cal. C + O2  CO2 + 97 k cal.
(b) Zone of fusion (1200- 1500 C) 0

It is just above the zone of combustion. Here the iron melts and trickles down in the hearth while the slag
being lighter floats over the molten metal and thus prevents oxidation of Fe by blast of air.
(c) Zone of heat absorption or slag formation (800- 12000C)
This is the middle part of the furnace. Here rising CO2 is reduced to carbon monoxide.
CO2 + C  2CO - 39 kCal.
The reaction being endothermic, lowers the temperature of the zone.
– Limestone decomposes forming CaO which reacts with SiO2 forming slag.
CaCO3  CaO + CO2 CaO + SiO2  CaSiO3 (Slag)

E 13
(d) Zone of reduction (300-7000C)
It is near the top of the furnace. Here the calcined ore is reduced to Fe by rising CO.

Fe2O3 + CO 2FeO + CO2 

Fe3O4 + CO 3FeO + CO2 

FeO + CO  Fe + CO2 
To retard the backward reaction, supply of excess of CO is maintained by the following reaction.
CO2 + C  2CO
Since the temperature of this zone is too low to melt iron, the metal produced is known as spongy iron.
Properties of Cast Iron/Pig iron
) Carbon is present partially as free carbon in the form of graphite and partially in the form of Iron carbide
(Fe3C cementite) .
) Due to the presence of impurities, its melting point is low (1100 - 12500C).
(iii) The molten iron expands on solidification and hence it produces good casting.
(iv) It doesrust easily.
(v) It can neither be tempered nor magnetised easily.
(vi) Due to high carbon contents, it is hard and brittle and therefore can not be easily welded.
(vii) Itpossessesverylittleductility.
Uses of Cast Iron
It is used for small casting, for railings, hot water pipes, electric poles,bunsen burner bases and many other
purposes where strain is minimum. Wrought iron and steel are manufactured from cast Iron.
(4) Refining :
Manufacture of Wrought Iron :–
It is manufactured in a special type of reverberatory furnace called pudding furnace the hearth of which lined
with haematite Fe2O3.
The impurities of pig iron ore rapidly oxidised by oxygen of haematite. Oxides of C and S, being volatile, escape
while those of Mn, Si and P form slags.

3C + Fe2O3  2Fe + CO  ; 3S + 2Fe2O3  4Fe + 3SO2 

3Mn + Fe2O3  2Fe + 3MnO ;
MnO + SiO2  MnSiO3 (Slag)
3Si + 2Fe2O3  4Fe2O3  4Fe + 3SiO2
At this stage it is taken out in the forms of balls. These balls are beaten under steam hammers to squeeze out \\NODE6\E_NODE6 (E)\DATA\2014\KOTA\JEE-MAIN\SMP\CHEMISTRY\METALLURGY\ENG\02-THEORY.P65

as much of slag is possible. The obtained product is wrought Iron.

Properties of Wrought Iron
) It is extremely tough and melts at 15000C.
) It is highly malleable and ductile.
(iii) Presence of slag MnSiO3 and FePO4 makes it tough and resistant towards rusting.
(iv) It becomes passive when treated with conc. HNO3, chromic or chloric acids.
Use of wrought Iron
Wrought Iron is used
) For the manufacture of article, chains, nails hooks, bolts etc.
) For the manufacture of electromagnets and agricultural implements.

14 E
Process inbrief

Manufacture of Steel :
Bessemer process
This process involves the use of a large pear- shaped furnace (vessels) called Bessemer converter.
This is made of steel plates lined with silica (SiO2) or magnesia (MgO) depending upon the nature of impurities.
If the impurities are acidic e.g. P4O10 or SiO2, basic lining of lime (CaO) or magnesia is used (Basic process).
If the impurities are basic e.g. MnO4, lining of silica bricks is used (acid process).
Silicon and manganese (in acidic process) or phosphorus (in basic process) are oxidised to their oxides and thus removed as
Acid process :– Si + O2  SiO2 ; 2Mn + O2  2MnO ; MnO + SiO2  MnSiO3 (Slag)
Basic process :– P4 + 5O2  P4O10 P4O10 + 6CaO  Ca3(PO4)2 (Thomas slag)
Properties of Steel :–

Steel combines the useful properties of cast iron and wrought iron. It is hard and elastic. The properties of steel
depend upon its carbon contents. With the increase in carbon content, the hardness of steel increases while its
ductility decreases.
) Low carbon or soft steel contain C upto 0.25%.
) Medium carbon steel or mild steel contain 0.25–0.5% C.
(iii) High carbon or hard steels contain 0.5–1.5% C.
Heat Treatment of Steel :–
(a) Quenching or hardening : Steel is heated to red hot temp. and is then cooled suddenly by plunging
into either cold water or oil. It makes steel hard and brittle.
(b) Annealing : The steel is heated to red hot temp. and then cooled slowly. It makes steel soft.

E 15
(c) Tempering : If quenched steel is heated to temp. between 500 to 575 K and then cooled slowly, it
becomes quite hard but brittleness disappears. The process is called tempering.
(d) Surface treatment of steel
(i) Nitriding - Process of heating steel at 1000 K in an atmosphere of NH3.
This gives hard coating of iron nitride on the surface.
(ii) Case hardening - Process of giving a thin coating of hardend steel, by heating steel in contact with
charcoal followed quenching in oil.
– It is used for axles of railway wagons.
Uses of Steel :- For making machinery parts, girders, tools, knives, razors, household utensils etc.
Properties of Fe and its compounds
(i) FeO is basic in nature, which is prepared by reducing Fe2O3 -
573 K
Fe2O3 + H2    2FeO + H2O
(ii) Fe3O4 (magnetite FeO + Fe2O3) is more stable than the other two oxides.
– On passivity of Fe with conc. HNO3, a stable layer of Fe3O4 is formed on the surface.
(iii) Anhydrous Fe2Cl6 is very hygroscopic. Its aqueous solution on crystallisation gives FeCl36H2O. The aqueous
solution is strongly acidic, due to hydrolysis -

FeCl3 + 3H+ OH Fe(OH)3 + 3HCl

Structure :

FeCl3 is used for etching metals like Cu and Ag, this is oxidizing action of Fe+3
2Fe+3(aq.) + Cu(s)  2Fe2+ + Cu2+
Fe+3(aq.) + Ag(s)  Fe2+ + Ag+
(iv) FeSO4.7H2O (green vitriol) on exposure to air changes to brown due to formation of basic ferric sulphate.
4FeSO4 + 2H2O + O2  4Fe(OH)SO4
– It is efflorescent i.e. loses water of crystallisation, white layer forms on the surface of crystal.
exp osure
FeSO4.7H2O    FeSO4.H2O + 6H2O

FeSO4.7H2O    FeSO4  
 Fe2O3 + SO2 + SO3
7 H 2 O


– With nitric oxide (NO) it changes to brown due to formation of nitrosoferrous sulphate
FeSO4 + NO + 5H2O  [Fe(H2O)5NO]SO4
(Ringtest) (brown ring complex)

(v) Mohr's salt [FeSO4(NH4)2SO4.6H2O] does not effloresce like ferrous sulphate.
(vi) Iron(iii) ammonium sulphate Fe2(SO4)3.(NH4)2SO4.24H2O is known as ferric alum.

16 E

Ex1. Magnetic separation is used for increasing concentration of the following -

(1) Horn silver (2)Calcite (3) Hamatite (4) Magnesite
Sol. (3) Haematite ore having magnetic property, can be separated by magnetic separation
Ex2. In blast furnace, iron oxide is reduced by -
(1)Silica (2) CO (3) C (4) lime stone
Sol. (2)
Ex3. Steel consists of........percentage of carbon -
(1) 3.1 – 4.5% (2) 2.2 – 3.1% (3) 0.15 – 0.28% (4) 0.15 – 1.5%
Sol. (4)

Q1 Refining of Iron is done by -

(1) Electrolytic method (2) Zone refining
(3) Poling (4) Selective oxidation
Q2 Sulphide ore of Iron is –
(1)limonite (2)Siderite (3)Pyrites (4) Magnetite
Q3 The atmosphere maintained in the hearth of blast furnace -
(1) Reducing (2) Oxidising (3) Neutral (4) Acidic
Q4 Exothermic reactions taking place in -
(1) Central zone (2) Combustion zone (3) Fusion zone (4) Reduction zone
Ans. (1)4 (2)3 (3)1 (4)2
Zinc (Zn)
Occurrence :–
Its important minerals are :–
) Zinc blende or black jack ZnS
) Zincite ZnO
(iii) Calamite ZnCO 3
Extraction :–
Electrolytic Process
) Concentration
The powdered ore ZnS is concentrated by froth flotation method.

) Roasting
Concentrated ZnS is roasted at 7000C. A mixture of ZnO and ZnSO4 is obtained
ZnS + 2O2  ZnSO4
2ZnS + 3O2  2ZnO + 2SO2
(iii) Leaching with dilute sulphuric acid
The roasted ore is treated with dilute H2SO4 when ZnO is dissloved by forming ZnSO4
ZnO + H2SO4 ZnSO4 + H2O
(iv) Removal of impurities
The solution of ZnSO4 so obtained contains Cu, Cd, Sb, Mn Al, Fe and As as impurities. They are
removed by treatment with Ca(OH)2, Fe, Al, As and Sb are removed as hydroxides. Mn is removed as
MnO(OH) by blowing air through the solution. Impurities of Cu and Cd are removed by their replacement

E 17
from the solution by treatment with zinc dust.
CuSO4 + Zn  ZnSO4 + Cu

(v) Electrolysis :–
Anode  Impure Zn
Cathode  Pure Zn
Electrolyte  Pure solution of ZnSO4 + H2SO4 (dil.)
on the electrolysis zinc is deposited at cathode. The metal is scrapped off and melted
to give 99.95% pure metal.
Chemical Properties :–
(i) Action of Air :– Zinc is not affected by dry air at room temperature. On long contact with moist air, a
protective layer of basic zinc carbonate is deposited. When heated in air, it burns with a bluish - white
flame and forms zinc oxide known as philosopher's wool.

2 Zn + O2   2 ZnO

(ii) Action of Water :– Pure zinc has no action on water. Zinc decomposes boiling water slowly and steam
Zn + H2O  ZnO + H2 
(Hot) (Steam)

(iii) Action of acids :– Zinc is fairly electropositive. So it displaces hydrogen gas from dilute hydracids.
Zn + H2SO4  ZnSO4 + H2 

Zn + 2HCl  ZnCl2 + H2 
with hot and Conc. H2SO4 it gives SO2.

Zn + 2H2SO4 
 ZnSO4 + 2H2O + SO2 

(iv) Action of alkalis :– Zinc is acted upon caustic alkalis ; H2 is released.

Zn (S) + 2 NaOH (aq)  Na2ZnO2 (aq) + H2 
(v) Reaction with solutions of salts

less electropositive metals than zinc are replaced by it from their salt solution.
Zn (S) + CuSO4 (aq)  ZnSO4 (aq) + Cu(S)
Zn (S) + Pb(NO3)2 (aq)  Zn(NO3)2 + Pb (S)
Uses :–
) In making alloys e.g. brass, german silver, electron etc.
) In the extraction of silver and gold by cyanide process.
(iii) In dry cells for making cathode container.
(iv) Zn–Cu couple, Zn- Hg, zinc dust etc. are used as reducing agent in organic reactions.
(v) large amounts of zinc are used for galvanizing iron. Zinc is deposited on the surface of iron articles. This
process is called galvanization.

18 E

Zinc sulphate white vitrol : ZnSO4.7H2O

Effect of Heat :

ZnSO4.7H2O  
375 K
 ZnSO4.H2O  
725 K
 ZnSO4  1  ZnO + SO2 + O2
075 K

Use as a eye lotion :

Zinctie Philospher's wool (ZnO)

Properties :- Amphoteric in nature

Use as white pigment
Lithopone (ZnS + BaSO4)

Use as a white paint.


Q1 Whitevitriolis-
(1) ZnS (2) ZnSO4
(3) ZnSO4.7H2O (4) ZnCO3
Q2 Zinc reacts with caustic soda to form -
(1) Na2ZnO2 (2) Zn(OH)2
(3) ZnO (4) ZnH2
Q3 On strong heating ZnCl2.H2O, the compound obtained is :-
(1) ZnCl2 (2) Zn(OH)Cl
(3) Zn(OH)2 (4) ZnO
Ans. (1) 3 , (2) 1, (3) 2

E 19
SILVER, Ag (Argentum)
Occurrence :–
Ag found in free and combined state in nature.
Its main ore is Argentite Ag2S.
Other ores are
Copper silver glance – Cu2S . Ag2S
Horn silver – AgCl
Argentiferous lead – PbS(0.01 – 0.1% Ag)
Steps of Metallurgy :–
(A) From Argentite (Ag2S)
(1) Concentration :– As it is a sulphide ore, so froth floatation process is used.
(2) Leaching and reduction (Mac Arther cyanide process)
(a) Formation of cyanide complex :–

Ag2S + NaCN  Na[Ag(CN)2] + Na2S

In absence of air reaction is reversible.

In presence of air reaction is irreversible.
Na2S + O2 Na2SO4
Na2SO4 does not reacts with sod. Argento cyanide.
(b) Displacement of Ag metal :–
2Na[Ag(CN)2] + Zn Na2[Zn(CN)4] + 2Ag
Sod. tetra cyanozincate (black ppt) .

Ag 

K NO3
Ag (Solid) Shining silver (impure)

(3) Purification by electrolytic method :–

Pure Ag — Cathode
Impure Ag — Anode
Electrolyte — AgNO 3
+ 1% HNO3 — To increase ionisation and to avoid hydrolysis of AgNO3
by common ion effect
(B) Ag from Argentiferous lead (PbS – Galena) :–
Galena has a little amount of silver
(1) Concentration :– (PbS) by froth floatation process
(2) Reduction of metal :–
(a) Park's process :– Based on distribution law.
(I) Molten Ag is more soluble in molten zinc.
Pb (molten)  Zn(molten)


(II) Melting point of Zn/Ag alloy is greater than lead, so Zn/Ag freezes first.
(III) Density of Zn/Ag is less than Pb so Zn/Ag forms the upper layer and Pb form lower layer.
(IV) Upper layer taken out.
(V) Ag is separated by using distillation method. (Vapourisation of Zn)

20 E
(b) Pattinson method :–
(I) It is based upon fractional crystallisation.
(II) Ag/Pb is melted then cooled, the process is repeated again & again, concentration of Ag increases.
Pb separate out in crystalline form.
(3) Purification :–
(a) Cupellation :–


Cupel (made of bone ash)

Impure Ag

 Pb impurities separates (oxidised) out in the form of litharge.

(b) Electrolytic process :– As discussed earlier.
Properties of Silver :–
) It is hard, malleable and ductile.
) Silver is the best conductor of heat & electricity.
(iii) Spitting of silver : When Ag is melted in air, it absorbs oxygen about 20 times of its volume. This
absorbed O2 is given out on cooling the metal with a spurting sound. This phenomenon is known as
(iv) Action of acids
When heated with conc. H2SO4 silver evolves SO2
2Ag + 2H2SO4 (conc.) Ag2SO4 + 2H2O + SO2 
Dil. and conc. nitric acid dissolves silver forming silver nitrate.
3Ag + 4HNO3 3AgNO3(aq.) + NO + 2H2O
(Dilute) (Nitric oxide)
Ag + 2HNO3 AgNO3 + NO2 + H2O

(v) Standard oxidation potential of silver is – 0.80 V. Silver is easily displaced from a solution of its salt by metals
above it in the electrochemical series but not by metals below it. e.g. Au, Pt etc.
Cu(s) + Ag2SO4 (aq) CuSO4 (aq) + 2Ag 
(more electro positive than silver)

AgBr + Au  no reaction.

Silver Nitrate (Lunar Caustic) AgNO3

It is prepared by discolving metalic silver in dilute nitric acid.

Properties –
i) It is not very hygroscopic and very soluble in water.
) AgNO3 is also decomposes by organic matter such as glucose, paper, skin and cork.
(iii) It has also a caustic and destructive effect on organic tissue.
(iv) Aqueous solution are susseptible to decomposition by light.
(v) AgNO3 is oxidising in nature (decomposes on heating)

2AgNO3   
 2AgNO2 + O2
above MP

2AgNO3    2Ag + 2NO2 + O2

Re d heat

E 21
(vi) 2AgNO3 + 2NaOH Ag2O + 2NaNO3 + H2O

(vii) AgNO3 + NH4OH AgOH  Ag2O + H2O

wt. ppt. (Brown)
It dissolves in excess of NH4OH
Ag2O + 4NH4OH  2[Ag(NH3)2]OH + 3H2O
Ammonical AgNO3 is known is TOLLEN's reagent

(viii) Black ppt. with H2S

2AgNO3 + H2S  Ag2S + 2HNO3

(ix) White ppt. with Hypo :–

2AgNO3 + Na2 S2O3 Ag2S2O3 + 2Na2OH

white ppt.
In excess of Hypo H2O

Na3 [Ag(S2O3)]
2 [Ag2S
Soluble complex
(x) Red ppt. with K2CrO4
2AgNO3 + K2CrO4 Ag2CrO4 + 2KNO3
Red ppt.
i) Itisused insilverplating.
) Silver foils are used in medicine.
(iii) Silver amalgam is used for dental filling.
(iv) Compounds of silver are used in silvering of mirrors (AgNO3 + HCHO + Red Pb), in photography, as
laboratory reagents etc.
(v) Silver is easily alloyed with copper, so it is used in making coins, ornaments, silver ware etc.
(vi) It gives black spot on skin due to decomposition so it is also used as hairdy and ink.


Ex1 925 fine silver means an alloy of -
(1) 7.5% Ag and 92.5% Cu (2) 92.5% Ag and 7.5% Cu
(3) 9.25% Cu and 90.75% Ag (4) 9.25% Ag and 90.75% Cu \\NODE6\E_NODE6 (E)\DATA\2014\KOTA\JEE-MAIN\SMP\CHEMISTRY\METALLURGY\ENG\02-THEORY.P65

Sol. (2)
Siver being soft is alloyed with copper. The composition of a silver alloy is expressed as its fineness', i.e., the
amount of Ag in 1,000 parts of the alloy. 925 fine silver means an alloy of 92.5% Ag and 7.5% Cu.
Ex2 Heating of Ag with conc. HNO3 give -
(1) NO (2) NO2 (3) N2O (4) N2O3
Sol. (2)
2HNO3  2NO2 + H2O + O
2Ag + 2HNO3 + O  2AgNO3 + H2O
(Adding) 2Ag + 4HNO3  2NO2+ 2AgNO3 + 2H2O
if dil. HNO3 is used, NO is produced.

22 E

Q1 The silver complex ion formed during cyanide process is -

(1) Na2 [Ag(CN)] (2) Na[Ag(CN)] (3) Na2[Ag(CN)2] (4) Na[Ag(CN)2]
Q2 Refining of silver is done by -
(1) Liquation (2) Poling (3) Cupellation (4) Van arkel method
Q3 Chief ore of silver is -
(1) Argentite (2) Ruby silver (3) Pyrargyrite (4) Horn silver
Ans. (1) 4, (2) 3, (3) 1

GOLD Au (Aurum)
Atomic number – 79
Electronic configuration – 2, 8, 18, 32, 18, 1
Valency – + 1, + 3
Occurance – Alluvial deposits & Quartz veins

(A) Mac Arther Forest's Cyanide Process
(I) Concentration
Sand associated with Au is removed by washing method.
(II) Extraction of metal
) Gold particles – ground and agitated with KCN in alkaline medium and air is simultaneously blown
Au + KCN + H2O + O2  K[Au(CN)2] + KOH
(Pot. dicyano aurate)
) Impurities filtered out.
(iii) Filtrate is treated with zinc dust Au precipitated.
K[Au (CN)2] + KOH + Zn  K2ZnO2 + KCN + H2O + Au 
(iv) Au obtained as black mud is treated with dil. H2SO4 to remove excess of Zn.
(III) Purification :–
Crude Au  Anode
Pure Au  Cathode
Electrolyte  H AuCl4 (aq)

Fineness of Au is expressed in carats.
Pure Au is of 24 carats
22 carats Au – contains 22 parts by weight of Au +2 parts by weight of Cu.
It is very inert. It dissolves in aqua-regia (HCl (3 parts) + HNO3 (1 part))
2Au + 6Cl AuCl3 ; AuCl3 + HCl  HAuCl4
) It is used in Jwellery.
) In the electroplating Gold is used.
(iii) In the Aurvedic medicine.

E 23

Ex.1 Purple of cassius is -

(1) Pure gold (2) Solid solution of gold
(3) Gold (I) hydroxide (4)Gold(III)chloride
Sol. (2) It is obtained by treating gold (III) chloride solution with SnCl2
2AuCl3 + SnCl2  2Au + 3 SnCl4
SnCl4 sor formed hydrolyses as follows
SnCl4 + 4H2O  Sn(OH)4 + 4HCl
stannic acid
The colloidal precipitate of stannic acid absorbs colloidal particles of gold. This has beautiful purple colour and
is known as purple of cassius. It is used for colouring glass (ruby red) and pottery.
Ex.2 Percentage of gold in 20 Carat gold -
(1) 80% (2) 83.33% (3) 86.66% (4) 96%
Sol. (2) 20 karat gold means it consists of 20 parts gold out of 24 parts and four parts of copper.

% of gold = × 100 = 83.33%

Q1. Gold is extracted by making soluble cyanide complex. The cyanide complex is -
(1) [Au(CN)4]– (2) [Au(CN)2]– (3) [Au(CN)3]– (4) [Au(CN)]–
Q2. Gold (iii) chloride on heating gives -
(1) Au (2) AuCl (3) AuCl and Cl2 (4) None
Ans. (1) 2 , (2) 3


24 E

Occurence :–
It is most reactive so do not found in free state in nature. It is first most abundant metal and third most
abundant element. (First two are oxygen, silicon).
Its important minerals are :-
Al2O3.2H2O — — — — Bauxite
Al2O3.H2O — — — — Diaspore
Al2O3 — — — — Corundum
Na3AlF6 — — — — Cryolite
Extraction :–
It extracted from bauxite in following steps :
) Concentration of bauxite :- removal of ferric oxide and silica
) Electrolytic reduction of Al2O3
(iii) Electrolytic purification of Aluminium
Flow Sheet for the extraction of Al


Concentration of Bauxite ore
(a) Baeyer's process :– (Used for red bauxite in which main impurity is iron oxide)
Bauxite ore  
 as to convert FeO into Fe2O3

150° Hydrolysis
Roasted ore + NaOH NaAlO2  Al(OH)3 + NaOH
8 atm
In presence ppt. ppt.
of little Al(OH)3

(b) Hall's Process :– (Red bauxite)

Bauxite ore + Na 2 CO 3   NaAlO 2
 extracted with water
 warmed 50 ° – 60 ° C
CO 2 is circulated


Al(OH)3 + Na 2 CO 3

(c) Serpeck's process :– (Used for white bauxite in which main impurity is silica)
Bauxite ore + coke    
1800  C
 AlN   Al(OH)3 + NH3
H O 2

+ ppt.
(Nitrogen) N2 C + SiO2 (gangue)  CO2 + Si A A

Al(OH)3   Al2O3
1 50 0  C

E 25

Electrolytic Reduction
Electrolyte Al2O3 dissolved in Na3AlF6 and CaF2
Cathode–Carbon lining Anode – Graphite rods
Al2O3  
950  C Al + O2

99.8% pure

Electrolytic Refining
(Hoop's process) Cathode  Pure Al (uper zone)
Pure Al (99.98 % pure) Anode : Impure Al (Lower zone)
Electrolyte : Meltmixutre Na, Ba and Al fluoride (Middle zone)
Important points

) Useful gas NH3 is evolved in the leaching of bauxite by serpeck's process.
) In the electrolytic reduction of Al2O3 cryotite (Na3AlF6) is added along with CaF2 (fluorspar) to–
– decrease m.p. of Al2O3
– decrease viscocity of electrolyte (CaF2 is used)
– increase conductivity
(III) In the electrolytic reduction graphite anode get corrode or finishe due to reaction with O2 liberates at
anode, hence it had to be changed periodically.
(IV) In the electrolytic refining (4th step) no electrodes are used. In the Hoop's process molten pure Al is
used as cathode and molten impure Al is used as anode.
(V) In the Hoop's process carbon dust is sprayed over molten Al to
– avoid heat lose
– minimise metallic lusture (glaze) which is harmful for the eyes.
Properties :–
) It is very light metal (density 2.7 gm/cc.) It is 4th Good conductor of electricity (Frist
three Ag, Cu and gold)
) With moist air, it forms a oxide layer at surface which protects against corrosion.
(iii) Aldissolves inalkalis:
2Al + 2NaOH + 2H2O  2NaAlO2 + 3H2 
(sod. meta Aluminate)
(iv) Al when heated in contact of halogens, halides forms.



(v) Metallic Al is a strong reducing agent. It is due to its great affinity for oxygen. It reduces
several metallic oxides to metals.
3MnO2 + 4Al  
 2Al2O3 + 3Mn + heat
Uses :–
) In the manufacture of alloys, magnalium (Mg + Al), aluminium bronze (Cu + Al) etc.
) In thermite welding of metals
(iii) For making containers for nitric acid
(iv) Aluminium is used in house-hold articles.
(v) Aluminium foil is used as a wrapping material
(vi) Al —Hg couple is used as reducing agent.

26 E

Ex1 Aluminium is obtained from Al2O3 by this method -

(1) Thermal reduction (2) Hydro metallurgical method
(3) Electrolytic reduction (4) Reduction by iron
Sol. (3) For all metals with high electropositive nature, electrolytic reduction is best method.
Ex2 If Bauxite consists of SiO2 as impurity,this process is employed -
(1) Hall's process (2) Baeyer's process
(3) Hoope's process (4) Serpeck's process
Sol. (4)


Q.1 Concentration of ore of Aluminium is done by -

(1) Froth floatation (2) Gravity separation
(3) Baeyer's process (4) Magnetic separation
Q.2 In electrolytic refining of aluminium, the product obtained at cathode is -
(1) Pure Al (2) O2, N2 (3) Impurities (4) Al-Cu alloy
Q.3. In Hall's process the bauxite ore is reacted with -
(1) Concentrated NaOH (2) Conc. Na2CO3
(3) C and N2 at above 1000°C (4) Dilute NaOH, Ca(OH)2
Ans. (1) 3, (2) 1, (3) 2

E 27
The extraction of metals from their oxides using carbon or other metals, and by thermal decomposition,
involves a number of points which merit detailed discussion.
For a spontaneous reaction, the free energy change G must be negative.
G = H – TS
H is the enthalpy change during the reaction, T is the absolute temperature, and S is the change in entropy
during the reaction. Consider a reaction such as the formation of an oxide:
M + O2  MO
Dioxygen is used up in the course of this reaction. Gases have a more random structure (less ordered) than
liquids or solids. Consequently gases have a higher entropy than liquids or solids. In this reaction S the entropy
or randomness decreases, the hence S is negative. Thus if the temperature is raised then TS becomes more
negative. Since TS is subtracted in the equation, then G becomes less negative. Thus the free energy
changed increases with an increase of temperature.

T = –273°C
0 O

O 2
–100 g+ 1
–200 10
–300 10–2
C + O2  CO2 10
G°/kJ per mol O2

–500 2 2C
+ O 2
r 2O 3 10–8
2Zn 2/3C + O2
–600 O C

4/3 C O 10

O3 10–12
 Al 2
 2 /3
gO 10
+O 2M

–900 / 3Al 
4 +O 2 –16

2 2
Mg O bp(Ca)
–1000  ZrO 2Ca
 + O2  10

mp(ca) –20
0 400 800 1200 1600 2000 2400

The free energy changes that occur when one gram molecule of a common reactant (in this case dioxygen) is
used may be plotted graphically against temperature for a number of reactions of metals of their oxides. This
graph is shown in figure and is called an Ellingham diagram (for oxides). Similar diagrams can be produced for
one gram molecule of sulphur, giving an Ellingham diagram for sulphides, and similarly for halides.
The Ellingham diagram for oxides shows several important features:
(a) The graph for metal oxide all slope upwards, because the free energy change increases with an increase
of temperature as discussed above.
(b) The free energy changes all follows a straight line unless the materials melt or vaporize.
(c) When the temperature is raised, a point will be reached where the graph crosses the G = 0 line. Below
this temperature the free energy of formation of the oxide is negative, so the oxide is stable. Above this
temperature the free of formation of the oxide is positive, and the oxide becomes unstable, and should
decompose into the metal and dioxygen.
(d) Any metal will reduce the oxide of other metals which lie above it in the Ellingham diagram because the
free energy will become more negative by an amount equal to the different between the two graphs at
that particular temperature.

28 E
Prob. Carbon monoxide is more effective reducing agent than carbon below 983 K but above this temperature
the reverse is true. How would you explain this?
Sol. The two reactions are as :
C(s) + O2  CO2 ......(i)
2C(s) + O2  2CO ......(ii)
2CO + O2  2CO2 ......(iii)
O (iii)

 2CO2
G° 2C (i)
(s) +O
2 

T 983 K
Below 983 K reaction 2CO + O2  2CO2 is more favoured due to more negative G value thus CO is
better reducing agent than carbon.
Above 983 K, reaction 2C(s) + O2  2CO has more negative G than oxidation of CO to CO2, so carbon
will be better reducing agent.
Prob. Al can reduce oxide of Cr but not reduce oxide of Mg and Ca at 800°C explain.
Sol. A metal can reduce the oxide of metal placed above in the diagram. Due to more negative free energy.
Such that, Al can reduce Cr but not MgO or CaO.
Prob. In what condition extraction of Mg is possible by MgO using carbon reduction method.
Sol. According to Ellingham diagram reduction of metal oxide with carbon will occur when the accompanying
G is negative. Such reduction become progressively more feaxible the higher the temperature. MgO can
only be reduced by carbon at the temperature approximate 2000°C.
Mg was formely by heating MgO and C to 2000°C, at which temperature C reduces MgO. The gaseous
mixture of Mg and CO was then cooled very rapidly to deposit the metal. This 'quenching' or 'shockcooling'
was necessary as the reaction is reversible, and if cooled slowly the reaction will come to equilibrium further
MgO + C   Mg + CO
Limitations of Ellingham Diagram
(a) The graph simply indicates whether a reaction is possible or not i.e., the tendency of reduction with a
reducing agent is indicated. This is so because it is based only on the thermodynamic concepts. It doe not

say about the kinetics of the reduction process (Cannot answer questions like how fast it could be ?).
(b) The interpretation of G is based on K(G = – RT lnK). Thus it is presumed that the reactants of
products are in equilibrium.
MxO + Ared 1 xM + AOox

E 29