Amalgamation Process

I want some description about the amalgamation process between mercury and gold. Wich kind of chemical reaction occur between them? Does the mercury dissolve the gold or it combine with this by another kind of chemical bonding?


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I believe it's just a physical mixture, not a chemical compound.

(of course, when metals mix, in the solid state, you have "metallic bonding" throughout ...... no doubt some clever person could show you a description of the Hg and Au orbitals using band theory...)

Of course at room temperature only Au is solid; amalgamation is a simple matter of solubility; some metals like Au, Ag and Al are soluble and some like Fe are not. :)

the mercury "holds" the gold particles from the rest of the ore. Gold is only slightly soluable in Hg to the tune of 0.06% wt so its not dissolving the particles per say. The two elements just have an affinity to contact one another and maybe form a small region of alloying. Its not real well understood.

Not as soluble as you think when in form of pure element.

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