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Gold Removal and Recovery using Mesoporous Silica Adsorbents

K.F. Lam, K.L. Yeung and G. McKay
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, CN

Keywords:
selectivity, adsorption, metal, mesoporous

Abstract:
This work investigates the selective removal of dissolved metal ions from aqueous solutions using MCM-41 adsorbents grafted with different chemical moieties. A systematic study was conducted to understand the adsorption mechanisms, in order to better design better adsorbent material. The targeted removal of precious (i.e., Au and Ag) and toxic metals (i.e., Hg, Pb, Cd) from solutions containing base metals (i.e., Cu and Fe) was achieved. MCM-41 could be successfully tailored only to remove gold (> 99.9%) from a solution containing copper. Pure gold can be recovered by simple washing step and the regenerated adsorbents can be reused. In the toxic metals such as Hg, selective removal and complete sequestration within the MCM-41 was demonstrated.

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