NCERT Class 12 Books Chemistry Unit 6- General Principles and Processes of Isolation of Elements

Safalta Expert Published by: Noor Fatima Updated Wed, 29 Jun 2022 01:37 PM IST


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NCERT Class 12 Books Chemistry Unit 6- General Principles and Processes of Isolation of Elements is accessible here for download purposes. You can download the PDF for and learn from the book anytime you want. Students who are studying in Class 12 and candidates who are preparing for competitive exams can download the PDF for NCERT Class 12 Books Chemistry Unit 6- General Principles and Processes of Isolation of Elements to learn from the reading material.  

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Here, you can learn the NCERT Class 12 Books Chemistry Unit 6- General Principles and Processes of Isolation of Elements. Moreover, you can get the links for other chapters to download the links. 

The Chapter Goes Like This-


After studying this Unit, you will be able to-
  • Appreciate the contribution of Indian traditions in the metallurgical processes,
  • Explain the terms minerals, ores, concentration, benefaction, calcination, roasting, refining, etc.
  • Understand the principles of oxidation and reduction as applied to the extraction procedures
  • Apply the thermodynamic concepts like that of Gibbs energy and entropy to the principles of extraction of Al, Cu, Zn and Fe
  • Explain why reduction of certain oxides like Cu2O is much easier than that of Fe2O3
  • Explain why CO is a favourable reducing agent at certain temperatures while coke is better in some other cases
  • Explain why specific reducing agents are used for the reduction purposes
The history of civilisation is linked to the use of metals in antiquity in many ways.

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Different periods of early human civilisations have been named after metals.
The skill of extraction of metals gave many metals and brought about several changes in the human society. It gave weapons, tools, ornaments, utensils, etc., and enriched the cultural life. The ‘Seven metals of antiquity’, as they are sometimes called, are gold, copper, silver, lead, tin, iron and mercury. Although modern metallurgy had exponential growth after Industrial Revolution, it is interesting to note that many modern concepts in metallurgy have their roots in ancient practices that pre-dated the Industrial Revolution. For over 7000 years, India has had a rich tradition of metallurgical skills.

The two important sources for the history of Indian metallurgy are archaeological excavations and literary evidences. The first evidence of metal in Indian
subcontinent comes from Mehrgarh in Baluchistan, where a small copper bead, dated to about 6000 BCE was found. It is however thought to be native
copper, which has not been extracted from the ore. Spectrometric studies on copper ore samples obtained from the ancient mine pits at Khetri in Rajasthan and on metal samples cut from representative Harappan artefacts recovered from Mitathal in Haryana and eight other sites distributed in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra prove that copper metallurgy in India dates back to the Chalcolithic cultures in the subcontinent. Indian chalcolithic copper objects were in all probability made indigenously. The ore for extraction of metal for making the objects was obtained from chalcopyrite ore deposits in Aravalli Hills. Collection of  archaeological texts from copper-plates and rock-inscriptions have been compiled and published by the Archaeological Survey of India during the past century. Royal records were engraved on copper plates (tamra-patra). Earliest known copperplate has a Mauryan record that mentions famine relief efforts. It has
one of the very few pre-Ashoka Brahmi inscriptions in India.

Harappans also used gold and silver, as well as their joint alloy electrum. Variety of ornaments such as pendants, bangles, beads and rings have been found in ceramic or bronze pots. Early gold and silver ornaments have been found from Indus Valley sites such as Mohenjodaro (3000 BCE). These are on display in the National Museum, New Delhi. India has the distinction of having the deepest ancient gold mines in the world, in the Maski region of Karnataka. Carbon dating places them in mid 1st millennium BCE.

Hymns of Rigveda give earliest indirect references to the alluvial placer gold deposits in India. The river Sindhu was an important source of gold in ancient times. It is interesting that the availability of alluvial placer gold in the river Sindhu has been reported in modern times also. It has been reported that there are great mines of gold in the region of Mansarovar and in Thokjalyug even now. The Pali text, Anguttara Nikaya narrates the process of the recovery of gold dust or particles from alluvial placer gold deposits. Although evidence of gold refining is available in Vedic texts, it is Kautilya’s Arthashastra, authored probably in 3rd or 4th century BCE, during Mauryan era, which has much data on prevailing chemical practices in a long section on mines and minerals including metal ores of gold, silver, copper, lead, tin and iron. Kautilya describes a variety of gold called rasviddha, which is naturally occurring gold solution. Kalidas also mentioned about such solutions. It is astonishing how people recognised such solutions.

The native gold has different colours depending upon the nature and amount of impurity present in it. It is likely that the different colours of native gold were a major driving force for the development of gold refining.

Recent excavations in central parts of Ganges Valley and Vindhya hills have shown that iron was produced there possibly as early as in 1800 BCE. In the recent excavations conducted by the Uttar Pradesh State Archaeological Department, iron furnaces, artefacts, tuyers and layers of slag have been found. Radiocarbon dating places them between BCE 1800 and 1000. The results of excavation indicate that the knowledge of iron smelting and manufacturing of iron artefacts was well known in Eastern Vindhyas and it was in use in the Central Ganga Plains, at least from the early 2nd millennium BCE. The quantity and types of iron artefacts and the level of technical advancements indicate that working of iron would have been introduced much earlier. The evidence indicates early use of iron in other areas of the country, which proves that India was indeed an independent centre for the development of the working of iron.

Iron smelting and the use of iron was especially established in South Indian megalithic cultures. The forging of wrought iron seems to have been at peak in India in the Ist millennium CE. Greek accounts report the manufacture of steel in India by crucible process. In this process, iron, charcoal and glass were mixed together in a crucible and heated until the iron melted and absorbed the carbon. India was a major innovator in the production of advanced quality steel. Indian steel was called ‘the Wonder Material of the Orient’. A Roman historian, Quintus Curtius, records that one of the gifts Porus of Taxila (326 BCE) gave to Alexander the Great was some two-and-a-half tons of Wootz steel. Wootz steel is primarily iron containing a high proportion of carbon (1.0 – 1.9%). Wootz is the English version of the word ‘ukku’ which is used for steel in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Literary accounts suggest that Indian Wootz steel from southern part of the Indian subcontinent was exported to Europe, China and Arab world. It became prominent in the Middle East where it was named as Damasus Steel. Michael Faraday tried to duplicate this steel by alloying iron with a variety of metals, including noble metals, but failed.

When iron ore is reduced in solid state by using charcoal, porous iron blocks are formed. Therefore, reduced iron blocks are also called sponge iron blocks. Any useful product can be obtained from this material only after removing the porosity by hot forging. The iron so obtained is termed as wrought iron. An exciting example of wrought iron produced in ancient India is the world famous Iron Pillar. It was erected in its present position in Delhi in 5th century CE. The Sanskrit inscription engraved on it suggests that it was brought here from elsewhere during the Gupta Period. The average composition (weight%) of the components present in the wrought iron of the pillar, besides iron, are 0.15% C, 0.05% Si, 0.05% Mn, 0.25% P, 0.005% Ni, 0.03% Cu and 0.02% N. The most significant aspect of the pillar is that there is no sign of corrosion inspite of the fact that it has been exposed to the atmosphere for about 1,600 years. 

Radiocarbon dating of charcoal from iron slag revealed evidence of continuous smelting in Khasi Hills of Meghalaya. The slag layer, which is dated to 353 BCE – CE 128, indicates that Khasi Hill regionis the earliest iron smelting site studied in the entire region of North East India. The remnants of former iron-ore excavation and iron manufacturing are visible even now in the landscape of Khasi Hills. British naturalists who visited Meghalaya in early 19th century described the iron industry that had developed in the upper part of the Khasi Hills. 

There is archaeological evidence of zinc production in Rajasthan mines at Zawar from the 6th or 5th BCE. India was the first country to master zinc distillation. Due to low boiling point, zinc tends to vapourise while its ore is smelted. Pure zinc could be produced after a sophisticated ‘downward’ distillation technique in which the vapour was condensed in a lower container. This technique was also applied to mercury. Indian metallurgists were masters in this technique. This
has been described in Sanskrit texts of 14th century. 

Indians had knowledge about mercury. They used it for medicinal purpose. Development of mining and metallurgy declined during the British colonial era. By the 19th century, once flourished mines of Rajasthan were mostly abandoned and became almost extinct. In 1947 when India got independence, European literature on science had already found its way slowly into the country. Thus, in post independence era, the Government of India initiated the process of nation building through the establishment of various institutes of science and technology. In the following sections, we will learn about the modern methods of extraction of elements. 

You can download the complete book from the link given below. 

NCERT Class 12 Books Chemistry Unit 6- General Principles and Processes of Isolation of Elements- PDF Download

Unit 6: General Principles and Processes of Isolation of Elements

अध्याय 6: तत्वों के निष्कर्षण के सिद्धांत एवं प्रक्रम

Where can you download NCERT Class 12 Books Chemistry Unit 6 PDF?

Candidates can download NCERT Class 12 Books Chemistry Unit 6- General Principles and Processes of Isolation of Elements PDF for free on our page. Links are given below.

Unit 6: General Principles and Processes of Isolation of Elements

अध्याय 6: तत्वों के निष्कर्षण के सिद्धांत एवं प्रक्रम

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