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An electrochemical study of the dissolution of gold in thiosulfate solutions Part I: Alkaline solutions

Zhang, S. and Nicol, M.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-8757-161X (2003) An electrochemical study of the dissolution of gold in thiosulfate solutions Part I: Alkaline solutions. Journal of Applied Electrochemistry, 33 (9). pp. 767-775.

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The anodic dissolution of gold in alkaline thiosulfate solutions has been studied by using a rotating gold disc. Experimental results have shown that the gold dissolves at measurable rates in thiosulfate solutions at potentials above 0.2 V. It has been confirmed that dissolution occurs in parallel with oxidation of thiosulfate with a dissolution current efficiency that varies with time and with the experimental conditions and which is generally in the range of 0.3 to 0.6. Although oxygen could be used as an oxidant for gold in the thiosulfate system, the rate of the cathodic reduction of oxygen in the relevant potential region is too slow for practical purposes. It was found that in the potential region investigated, thiosulfate ions undergo oxidative decomposition leaving a sulfur-like film on the surface of gold, which inhibits the rate of dissolution of gold and results in a low anodic current efficiency for the dissolution of gold. The factors (temperature, pH, thiosulfate concentration and ammonia) have been found to have positive effects on the kinetics of gold dissolution. The rates of gold dissolution in oxygenated alkaline thiosulfate solutions have been estimated to be much lower than in the copper–ammonia–thiosulfate and cyanide systems.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Parker Cooperative Research Centre for Integrated Hydrometallurgy Solutions
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright: 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers
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