The rotary furnace was used to recover mercury from cinnabar ore. Finely crushed ore fro the fine ore bin entered the furnace by means of a feeder known as a shotgun or bump feeder. The feeder periodically injected a measured amount of ore into the rotary tube where it was heated above the dissociation temperature (1095 degrees F). High temperature plus injected air provided by the burner/blower also oxidized the sulphur within the ore.SpecificationsManufacturer: Mutual Engineering Co., South San Francisco, California
The rotary tube slowly rotated so that ore was constantly mixed, exposed to the heat, and gradually fed toward the burner end, where spent ore dropped into the calcines bin.
Gases resulting from the heat consisted of mercury, sulphur, and water vapor, which along with an unavoidable amount of dust were drawn out of the furnace into a dust separator and on to the condenser. Mercury vapor was condensed back to its liquid form and, along with a small amount of rock dust, caught in rubber buckets. Sulphur vapor was exhausted into the air.
This rotary furnace was used in the Guadalupe mine from 1940 until the mine closed in the 1970s. The Guadalupe Rubbish Company donated the furnace to NAQCPA in 1987.
Model: Gould Improved Quicksilver Furnace Condensing System
Manufacture Date: 1940
Capacity: 15 tons per day
Fuel: Bunker Oil
Rotational power: 4.98 HP electric motor. Rotary tube rotation, about once per minute.
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