How would one go about preparing and purifying elemental gallium from a mixture of aluminum(III) nitrate and gallium(III) nitrate?


If you have a mixture of aluminum nitrate and gallium nitrate, then you have to separate the aluminum nitrate from the mixture. This patent describe how to separate aluminum nitrate from a mixture of other nitrate and hence, this process can be applicable for separating aluminum nitrate from gallium nitrate.

Then, when you have gallium nitrate, just heat to produce gallium oxide.

$$\ce{4Ga(NO3)3 -> 2Ga2O3 + 12NO2 + 3O2}$$

The thermal decomposition of nitrate gallium(III) to produce gallium(III) oxide, nitrogen dioxide and oxygen. This reaction takes place at a temperature of 110-200°C.(chemiday 1)

Then reduce gallium oxide to gallium using some reducing agent like carbon or hydrogen.

$$\ce{Ga2O3 + 3H2 -> 2Ga + 3H2O}$$

Gallium(III) oxide react with hydrogen to produce gallium and water. This reaction takes place at a temperature near 700°C.(chemiday 2)

$$\ce{Ga2O3 + 3C -> 2Ga + 3CO}$$

Gallium(III) oxide react with carbon to produce gallium and carbon monoxide. This reaction takes place at a temperature of 850-950°C.(chemiday 3)

You will find this youtube video of help. It shows how to synthesize gallium metal.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, this is exactly what I was looking for! That YouTube video was also quite helpful in learning how gallium aluminum amalgams are purified. $\endgroup$ – ComputerCraftr Jun 4 '17 at 7:38
  • $\begingroup$ @ComputerCraftr glad i could help. Alternatively, you can also check this video.. It shows how gallium can be extracted from gallium-aluminum alloy. $\endgroup$ – Nilay Ghosh Jun 4 '17 at 7:53

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