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Dissociation constant of hydrogen cyanide in saline solutions

Verhoeven, P., Hefter, G. and May, P.M. (1990) Dissociation constant of hydrogen cyanide in saline solutions. Minerals and Metallurgical Processing, 7 (4). pp. 185-188.


The dissociation (ionisation) constant of hydrogen cyanide, pKa(HCN), has been measured by high precision glass electrode potentiometric titrations in saline solutions containing up to 5 mol/L sodium chloride. The dissociation constant of water that is necessary for the calculation of pKa(HCN) has also been measured. In saline solution, and in contrast to literature values, pKa(HCN) changes considerably at both high and low ionic strengths as a result of changes in activity coefficients. In addition an equation is presented, using literature data, that describes the variation of pKa(HCN) with temperature up to 150°C. The significance of the changes in pKa(HCN) for optimising the pH of alkaline cyanide gold recovery streams is briefly discussed.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Publisher: Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration
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