Effectively adsorb Au(S2O3)23- using aminoguanidine as trapping group from thiosulfate solutions

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2024 Jun;31(26):38298-38309. doi: 10.1007/s11356-024-33710-2. Epub 2024 May 27.


Thiosulfate gold leaching is one of the most promising green cyanide-free gold extraction processes; however, the difficulty of recovering Au(I) from the leaching system hinders its further development. This study prepared aminoguanidine-functionalized microspheres (AGMs) via a one-step reaction involving nucleophilic substitution between aminoguanidine hydrochloride and chloromethylated polystyrene microspheres and used AGMs to adsorb Au(I) from thiosulfate solutions. Scanning electron microscopy, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were used to analyze the structure and properties of AGMs. Experiments were designed to investigate the effects of pH, temperature, initial Au(I), and thiosulfate concentrations on the gold adsorption performance of AGMs. Results demonstrated that AGMs can efficiently adsorb Au(I) from thiosulfate solutions in a wide pH range. The adsorption process conforms to the pseudo-second-order kinetic model and Langmuir isotherm model, with a maximum capacity of 22.03 kg/t. Acidic thiourea is an effective desorbent, and after four adsorption-desorption cycles, the adsorption rate of Au(I) by AGMs is 78.63%, which shows AGMs have good cyclic application potential. Based on the results of characterization, experiments, and density functional theory calculations, the mechanism for the adsorption of [Au(S2O3)2]3- on AGMs involves anion exchange. Importantly, AGMs exhibited satisfactory adsorption property for Au(I) in practical Cu2+-NH3(en)-S2O32- systems. This study provided experimental reference for the recovery of Au(I) from thiosulfate solution.

Keywords: Aminoguanidine; Gold(I) thiosulfate complex; Recovery; Thiosulfate.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Gold* / chemistry
  • Guanidines* / chemistry
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kinetics
  • Microspheres
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared
  • Thiosulfates* / chemistry


  • Thiosulfates
  • Guanidines
  • Gold
  • pimagedine