Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Interdisciplinary Studies

Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Chemistry with Metallurgical and Materials Engineering

Department or School/College

Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Committee Chair

Edward Rosenberg

Commitee Members

Chris Palmer, Courtney Young, Larry Twidwell, Corby Anderson


composites, gold, polyamine, FTIR, seperation


University of Montana


The use and macro-molecular structure of silica polyamine composites was examined through a series of experiments. Precious metals were removed from both prepared and industrial solutions to gain familiarity with the composites and to develop separation procedures. A number of methods were developed to utilize the properties of the silica polyamine composites in separating and recovering precious metals in a variety of circumstances. Using a gold sulfate leachate developed at the Center for Advanced Mineral and Metallurgical Processing, gold was removed from solution and subsequently recovered from the composites using several methods, the most successful being a cyanide stripping regimen. Platinum Group Metals were recovered from several industrial-based solutions, with the PGM metals rhodium, palladium and platinum, as well as the transition metals copper and nickel, selectively separated. The most successful methods were those removing individual metals utilizing complimentary composites and solution pH changes. Composites and glass slide analogues of the composites were examined using Fourier Transform Infrared Analysis. The effects of water, alignment to the incident wave and varying silanization protocols were examined using the analogues. Macro-molecular structure and symmetry of the slide analogues and composites were examined via coordination of two carbonyl compounds, Ru(TFA)3CO3 and Mo(CO)3(C2H5CN)3. The project succeeded in its stated goals. Separation protocols were developed for a number of solutions. Structures of various carbonyl loaded composites were determined.



© Copyright 2007 William J. Gleason