Cementation

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A method to extract copper from copper sulfate.

History

History of biohydrometallurgy: Before electrolysis was discovered, cementation by iron was the only known way to extract copper from copper sulfate. In Spanish, cementacion means precipitation. It is believed that cementation was known in ancient Roman days. Cementation of copper was also known in China as documented by the Chinese king Lui-An (177-122 B.C.). Commercial production of copper from copper sulfate by cementation was realised in the 10th century by the Chinese. In 1096 a cementation plant was begun in Chianshan with a yearly production of 190 tonnes. Later, in Europe, the alchemist Paracelsus (1493-1541) described cementation of copper as an example of transmuting Mars (iron) into Venus (copper). References: Biometech, Studie avseende Bio & Hydrometallurgiskt center, 2002. http://web.tiscalinet.it/biomining/history.htm Biomining History

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