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The production of gallium

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The production of gallium

Post  gill on Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:51 am


The only two economic sources for gallium are as byproduct of aluminium and zinc production, while the sphalerite for zinc production is the minor source. Most gallium is extracted from the crude aluminium hydroxide solution of the Bayer process for producing alumina and aluminium. A mercury cell electrolysis and hydrolysis of the amalgam with sodium hydroxide leads to sodium gallate. Electrolysis then gives gallium metal. For semiconductor use, further purification is carried out using zone melting, or else single crystal extraction from a melt . Purities of 99.9999% are routinely achieved and commercially widely available. An exact number for the world wide production is not available, but it is estimated that in 2007 the production of gallium was 184 tonnes with less than 100 tonnes from mining and the rest from scrap recycling.


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