Leaching (chemical science)
Leaching is the process of extracting minerals from a solid by dissolving them in a liquid, either in nature or through an industrial process. In the chemical process
Chemical process
In a "scientific" sense, a chemical process is a method or means of somehow changing one or more chemicals or chemical compounds. Such a chemical process can occur by itself or be caused by somebody. Such a chemical process commonly involves a chemical reaction of some sort...

ing industry, leaching has a variety of commercial applications, including separation of metal
A metal , is an element, compound, or alloy that is a good conductor of both electricity and heat. Metals are usually malleable and shiny, that is they reflect most of incident light...

 from ore
An ore is a type of rock that contains minerals with important elements including metals. The ores are extracted through mining; these are then refined to extract the valuable element....

 using acid
An acid is a substance which reacts with a base. Commonly, acids can be identified as tasting sour, reacting with metals such as calcium, and bases like sodium carbonate. Aqueous acids have a pH of less than 7, where an acid of lower pH is typically stronger, and turn blue litmus paper red...

, and sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

 from beet
The beet is a plant in the Chenopodiaceae family which is now included in Amaranthaceae family. It is best known in its numerous cultivated varieties, the most well known of which is the purple root vegetable known as the beetroot or garden beet...

s using hot water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

. Chloride
The chloride ion is formed when the element chlorine, a halogen, picks up one electron to form an anion Cl−. The salts of hydrochloric acid HCl contain chloride ions and can also be called chlorides. The chloride ion, and its salts such as sodium chloride, are very soluble in water...

 can also be leached from food.

In a typical leaching operation, the solid mixture to be separated consists of particles, inert
-Chemistry:In chemistry, the term inert is used to describe a substance that is not chemically reactive.The noble gases were previously known as inert gases because of their perceived lack of participation in any chemical reactions...

 insoluble carrier A and solute
In chemistry, a solution is a homogeneous mixture composed of only one phase. In such a mixture, a solute is dissolved in another substance, known as a solvent. The solvent does the dissolving.- Types of solutions :...

 B. The solvent
A solvent is a liquid, solid, or gas that dissolves another solid, liquid, or gaseous solute, resulting in a solution that is soluble in a certain volume of solvent at a specified temperature...

, C, is added to the mixture to selectively dissolve B. The overflow from the stage is free of solids and consists of only solvent C and dissolved B. The underflow consists of slurry of liquid of similar composition in the liquid overflow and solid carrier A. In an ideal leaching equilibrium stage, all the solute is dissolved by the solvent; none of the carrier is dissolved. The mass ratio of the solid to liquid in the underflow is dependent on the type of equipment used and properties of the two phases.

Leaching is the process by which inorganic - , organic contaminants or radionuclides are released from the solid phase into the waterphase under the influence of mineral dissolution, desorption, complexation processes as affected by pH, redox, dissolved organic matter and (micro)biological activity. The process itself is universal, as any material exposed to contact with water will leach components from its surface or its interior depending on the porosity of the material considered.

One such reaction is-
Ag2S + NaCN --> Na[Ag(CN)2] + Na2S

The Sodium ArgentoCyanide can be treated with a more reactive metal like Zinc to give pure Silver(Ag).
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