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The CGP textbook says that in copper purification, copper is extracted through reduction, and the ore is heated in a furnace, known as smelting.

I’m confused.. I understand that metals need to be molten for electrolysis, but not for reduction. My exam’s on Monday pls help 😭😭
Original post by bunsenburner92
The CGP textbook says that in copper purification, copper is extracted through reduction, and the ore is heated in a furnace, known as smelting.

I’m confused.. I understand that metals need to be molten for electrolysis, but not for reduction. My exam’s on Monday pls help 😭😭

I think there may be a slight misunderstanding.

I think you are thinking of ionic compounds in electrolysis, which have to be molten (or aqueous, if possible) for it to work. That is because in a solid ionic lattice, the ions are not free to move and conduct the electric current. When ionic compounds are molten, or aqueous, the ions are free to move and carry a current.

Metals are conductive, no matter whether they are molten or not, due to delocalised electrons. You don’t electrolyse a metal, because it’s already a pure substance and you don’t need to separate it into anything.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by TypicalNerd
I think there may be a slight misunderstanding.

I think you are thinking of ionic compounds in electrolysis, which have to be molten (or aqueous, if possible) for it to work. That is because in a solid ionic lattice, the ions are not free to move and conduct the electric current. When ionic compounds are molten, or aqueous, the ions are free to move and carry a current.

Metals are conductive, no matter whether they are molten or not, due to delocalised electrons. You don’t electrolyse a metal, because it’s already a pure substance and you don’t need to separate it into anything.


Yeah, I understand that, what confuses me is what I said in my original post. That’s what my textbook says, word for word, but that doesn’t make any sense at all
Original post by bunsenburner92
Yeah, I understand that, what confuses me is what I said in my original post. That’s what my textbook says, word for word, but that doesn’t make any sense at all

Idk. Maybe whoever wrote it was smoking crack?
Original post by bunsenburner92
The CGP textbook says that in copper purification, copper is extracted through reduction, and the ore is heated in a furnace, known as smelting.

I’m confused.. I understand that metals need to be molten for electrolysis, but not for reduction. My exam’s on Monday pls help 😭😭

use shaun, icl cgp guides confuses everything for me
smelting is where the metal ore is heated, normally with carbon or sometimes hydrogen. The metal ore does not need to be molten for this to happen e.g a blast furnace, here the iron ore is smelted with carbon (https://science-revision.co.uk/blast_furnace.html)
try here also
https://science-revision.co.uk/metal_extraction.html

To extract a metal from its ore by electrolysis, such as a a reactive metal like aluminium then the ore needs to be molten. You can also extract a metal of low reactivity (below hydrogen) by dissolving the metal ore and using electrolysis.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by scimus63
smelting is where the metal ore is heated, normally with carbon or sometimes hydrogen. The metal ore does not need to be molten for this to happen e.g a blast furnace, here the iron ore is smelted with carbon (https://science-revision.co.uk/blast_furnace.html)
try here also
https://science-revision.co.uk/metal_extraction.html

To extract a metal from its ore by electrolysis, such as a a reactive metal like aluminium then the ore needs to be molten. You can also extract a metal of low reactivity (below hydrogen) by dissolving the metal ore and using electrolysis.

Do you think it was just an error then?
when the metal ore is heated with carbon or hydrogen it is reduced. Check out the links I posted!!!
Original post by scimus63
when the metal ore is heated with carbon or hydrogen it is reduced. Check out the links I posted!!!


Thanks for the links and all, but I know that, I’ve learnt that content. I’m asking if the textbook was an error because, to my understanding, metals do not have to be molten for reduction.

Unsure what question you’re answering, but it sure isn’t mine??

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