Mercury ore, cinnabar, mined in the mines, conducting drilling or blasting. When you do this, use electrical equipment or explosives. The extracted material is transported from the mines on conveyor belts, trucks or trains to places further processing. There the ore is ground in one or more cone crushers. Milled ore is placed in a special mill for further grinding. The mill can be filled with short steel rods or steel balls for best effect.
Finely powdered substance is fed into the furnace for heating. Heat is provided by burning natural gas or other fuel in the lower part of the furnace. The heated cinnabar reacts with the oxygen in the air. The result is a sulphur dioxide, which allows the mercury to rise in the form of steam. This process is called roasting. Mercury vapors rise and exit the kiln along with the sulfur dioxide, water vapor and other combustion products. Also transferred a significant amount of fine dust from the powdered ore which is separated and collected.
From the furnace hot vapours enter the condenser with water cooling. When the couple is cooled, the mercury which has a boiling point 357оС first condenseries in liquid. The remaining gases and vapors produced or further processed in order to reduce air pollution.
Liquid mercury is collected. Because it has a very high specific gravity, any impurities tend to rise to the surface and form a dark film or foam. These impurities are removed by filtration, and the content of pure mercury in the obtained substance is 99.9%. Impurities are further treated to collect mercury, which may have formed compounds.
Received mercury useable, however, for some purposes it is necessary substance with a higher content of pure mercury. For this purpose, additional methods of purification. Among them, mechanical filtration, electrolytic process, the use of chemical substances. The most common method is triple distillation. The temperature of the liquid mercury is carefully raised until the impurities are separated or evaporated mercury. This process is carried out three times, each time increasing the purity of the substance.
Advice 2: How to mine raw materials on asteroids
Although the extraction of raw materials on asteroids is associated with many difficulties, some scientists believe that it will become not only possible but even profitable by the middle of the XXI century. Industrial development of asteroids is especially important since the mineral resources on Land gradually decrease.
Some of the asteroids have shown that these celestial bodies may contain huge number of minerals including Nickel, iron, cobalt, palladium, platinum, manganese, gold, molybdenum, etc. moreover, according to some scientists, part of the ore mined on Earth has come to the planet from space during the "asteroid bombardment". A large asteroid can replace a huge Deposit, and obtained from it the minerals enough the population of the Earth for a few years.
To get raw materials in space, you must first find a suitable celestial body. The asteroid must be relatively close to the Earth, to the way there and back occupying too much time and did not require large expenditures. It is desirable that nearby you can find water because it will significantly reduce transportation costs of materials needed for survival. And, of course, the asteroid needs to be rich in minerals.
Finding the right "space field," you need to choose a mining method. Three main options. If the surface of a celestial body is, the fragments of rock, they can be extracted in an open way. This means that the asteroid should create something like an earthly career, which will break up the material and deliver it in a special vault. If it is determined that the minerals are in the depths of the asteroid, you need to build the mine, complemented by systems that automatically deliver materials to the surface. And finally, if you were able to discover that the asteroid is covered with small metal fragments and tiny, the metal can be collected using a special magnet.
For the extraction of raw materials on asteroids required special equipment. First, it should be automatic, allowing to minimize the human intervention in the process. Secondly, this equipment should work in open space. Finally, note that because of the very low-gravity asteroid may not be able to hold larger devices, and will need some way to securely attach to the surface.