A systematic electrochemical study of pyrite in H2SO4 solutions containing dissolved silver was undertaken to gain more information about the transfer of silver ions to pyrite and their role in enhancing the direct oxidation of pyrite. The results of cyclic voltammetry experiments provide additional evidence of the formation of metallic silver on the FeS2 surface under open-circuit conditions. A pyrite electrode held at the open-circuit potential for 2 h in the presence of 10-3m Ag+ exhibits a large and sharp anodic peak at about 0.7V. The current associated with this peak is the result of the dissolution of metallic silver deposited during the initial conditioning period. There is no evidence of silver deposition without preconditioning until the potential drops below about 0.6V for Ag+ concentrations ranging from 10-4 to 10-2m. However, subsequent silver deposition appears to be very sensitive to the dissolved silver concentration in this range. There is also evidence that the state of the pyrite surface has a pronounced influence on its interaction with silver ions. Agitation has also been found to have a significant effect on the electrochemistry of the Ag-FeS2 system.
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