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The kinetics and mechanism of the non-oxidative dissolution of some iron sulphides in aqueous acidic solutions

Nicol, M.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-8757-161X and Scott, P.D. (1979) The kinetics and mechanism of the non-oxidative dissolution of some iron sulphides in aqueous acidic solutions. Journal of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 79 (10). pp. 298-305.

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The kinetics of the non-oxidative dissolution in acids of the iron sulphides FeS, Fe-FeS, and Fe.S1o were studied by the use of rotating-disc electrodes of the various compounds. It was found that the rates of dissolution vary by orders of magnitude with changes in surface potential. The dissolution rates depend on non-integral orders of hydrogen-ion concentration, which in turn vary with potential. A mechanism based on the following premises is proposed to explain the kinetics of dissolution of the iron sulphides.

(I) Only an FeS compound that is exactly stoichiometric dissolves in accordance with the accepted theory of ionic charge transfer.

(2) Any non-stoichiometric iron-deficient iron sulphides must be reduced to exactly stoichiometric FeS before spontaneous non-oxidative dissolution can occur. The dissolution of Fe.S1o and slightly iron-deficient FeS compounds under open-circuit conditions occurs only when an oxidation reaction (usually the oxidation of hydrogen sulphide to elemental sulphur) can provide the electrons necessary for the production of exactly stoichiometric FeS. The establishment of such a mixed-potential system is the reason for the induction period that occurs during the dissolution of pyrrhotites in acids.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: SAIMM
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