The sulphocyanide is converted into the potassium salt by adding potassium sulphate, and finally desulphurized by lead, zinc, or iron.
Though it contains far too much sulphur to be used in iron manufacture without first being desulphurized, yet great quantities of slightly cupriferous pyrite, after yielding nearly all their sulphur in the manufacture of sulphuric acid, and most of the remainder in the wet extraction of their copper, are then used under the name of " blue billy " or " purple ore," as an ore of iron, a use which is likely to increase greatly in importance with the gradual exhaustion of the richest deposits of the oxidized ores.
It is readily desulphurized by silver oxide, mercuric oxide or lead oxide.
In some processes of lead-smelting, where the minerals treated contain sand, the long calciner is provided with a melting bottom close to the fire-place, so that the desulphurized ore leaves the furnace as a glassy slag or silicate, which is subsequently reduced to the metallic state by fusion with fluxes in blast furnaces.
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