How is The Industrially Widely Used Metal Nickel Prepared?


Nickel is a silvery-white metal, hard, magnetic and good plasticity and corrosion resistance, widely used in industry. Then how is it prepared? Here we provide you a brief introduction to the preparation methods of nickel metal.

Generally, nickel metal will form a dense oxide film on its surface in moist air at room temperature to prevent further oxidation of the base metal. Hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, organic acid and alkaline etching solution erode nickel in an extremely slow speed. Strong nitric acid can passivate the nickel surface and make it corrosion resistant. Like platinum and palladium, nickel can absorb large amounts of hydrogen during passivation, the smaller the particle size, the greater the absorption. The important salts of nickel are sulfate nickel and chloride nickel. Similar to iron and cobalt, nickel are more stable to water and air at room temperature, resistant to alkaline corrosion. It is the use of the above properties that preparation methods of nickel metal are getting rich. The commonly used preparation methods of nickel metal are following categories:

a. Electrolytic process: to roast the enriched sulfide ore into oxides, reducing into coarse nickel with carbon, then by electrolysis we can get pure nickel.

b. Carbonylation: to make the nickel sulfide ore react with carbon monoxide to generated four nickel carbonyl, high purity nickel can be obtained after thermal decomposition.

c. Hydrogen reduction: nickel can be obtained by the reduction of nickel oxide with hydrogen.

With the continuous development of metallic nickel preparation, the use of nickel metal powder has become increasingly widespread. Currently, nickel metal is mainly used to manufacture stainless steel and other corrosion-resistant alloys, such as nickel steel, nickel-chromium steel and a variety of non-ferrous alloys, and high nickel content copper-nickel alloy is hard to corrode. Among them, titanium-nickel alloy even has strong “memory” ability, and its memory keeps accurate after a fairly long period of time and millions of times of repeating. Its “memory” ability is to remember its original shape, so people call it “shape memory alloys”. Nickel is also used as hydrogenation catalyst and ceramic products, special chemicals utensils, electronic circuits, glass greening, and the preparation of nickel compounds and so on.