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Volume 4, Amalgam and Electrometallurgy (Principles of Extractive Metallurgy)
by Fathi Habashi

Amazon Price: $68.00
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Hardcover - 370 pages 1 edition Vol 4 (January 10, 1999)
Metallurgie Extractive Quebec; ISBN: 2980324752
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Review:
Prof. Derek Fray, University of Cambridge, UK

This is the last volume in the series "Principles of Extractive Metallurgy" by Fathi Habashi and, once again, a very readable and comprehensive book has been carefully crafted. The book covers the whole of electrometallurgy including both aqueous and fused salts, electrolysis and electrorefming and amalgam metallurgy. As well as the basic science and technology of electrometallurgy, virtually every metal that is extracted using electrometallurgy is covered. The book gives a complete overview of the field starting from simple electrochemistry and then moving onto the applications. Interestingly, a brief history of electricity and electrometallurgy is also given.

From the reader's point of view the text is easy to follow and is presented in a very interesting way incorporating a historical perspective of the technology for each metal. The book is liberally supplied with photographs and drawings that makes the understanding of the text very much easier. I feel that the book will have a considerable appeal to a broad audience as everybody will get something from the book. The novice will obtain a thorough overview of the field without getting bogged down in detailed electrochemistry while the expert will broaden his knowledge into areas outside his or her immediate expertise and, perhaps, gain inspiration from technological innovations in other fields. At the end of each section additional references are given giving the reader the opportunity to delve deeper into a particular aspect of the subject.

As well as covering the processes which are well known, such as copper, zinc and aluminium, other processes are including that are far well less known. These include antimony, tellurium, indium, thallium and rhenium for aqueous solutions niobium, tantalum and the rare earths. There is also a chapter on the anodic dissolution of sulfides. Electrorefining is discussed in depth both via aqueous solutions and molten salts.

Unusually, for a book of this type as well as covering the scientific aspects, the engineering of electrometallurgical plants is discussed. Recycling and environmental aspects of electrometallurgy are also presented.

The section on amalgam electrometallurgy is particularly interesting and definitive this is probably the last time that this area will be covered in any detail in any book given the continuing decline of this technology.

There is a very useful appendix which lists the major producers of major electrometallurgical plants for aluminium, copper and zinc.

This book is essential for anyone interested in electrometallurgy. It is a book that would be entirely suitable as a textbook for either undergraduate or postgraduate courses in metallurgy. The problem might be finding courses that are still being run. However the book must appeal to extractive metallurgist, chemists and geologists and, probably, the biggest market for this book will be found in libraries and in the companies listed in the appendix.

 

 

   

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