6.1 Copper can be extracted by hydrometallurgy but not zinc. Explain.

Answers (1)

Copper can be extracted by hydrometallurgy but not zinc because the reduction potential of zinc is lower than that of copper. So, that copper can be reduced from its solution by zinc.     

  Zn(s)+Cu^{2+}(aq)\rightarrow Zn^{2+}(aq)+Cu(s)

But to reduce zinc from its solution we need higher reactive metal, which reduction potential is lower than zinc like  Al,Mg,Ca,K But these metals readily react with water with the evolution of  H_{2} gas. As a result, these metals are cannot use to displace zinc ion from its solution.

2K(s)+2H_{2}O(l)\rightarrow KOH(aq)+H_{2}(g) 

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