Itronics has succeeded in producing small amounts of pure zinc metal using a laboratory-scale electrowinning cell, said the company.
It now aims to expand zinc output in stages starting at laboratory scale and expanding to pilot scale at its manufacturing and research and development facility in Reno, Nevada.
The zinc is recovered from flue dust produced by a brass/bronze manufacturer, producing a zinc-bearing pregnant leach solution. Residuals from the leaching process contain measurable amounts of silver and gold.
"Activating the production of pure zinc metal using electrochemistry is another exciting milestone in our integrated technology developments", said Dr. John Whitney, Itronics president.
Last August, the firm said its tailings processing solution can also produce nutrient metals that can be used in fertilisers.