In this paper, for the first time, polypyrrole-coated electrospun nanofibre mats have been used as separation membranes to electrolessly recover Au from aqueous [Au(III)Cl4]− solutions, based on a continuous-flow membrane separation process. With a [Au(III)Cl4]− solution passing through the nanofibre membrane, the Au(III) ions were converted into elemental Au. The gold recovered was deposited on the nanofibre membranes in the form of Au particles, as confirmed by EDX and XPS measurements. It has been found that the polypyrrole-coated electrospun nanofibres are good candidate membrane material for the recovery of Au, and the recovery efficiency is affected by the membrane thickness, the permeate flux rate and the initial [Au(III)Cl4]− concentration.
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