zone refining

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1 In metallurgy, the small-scale production of high-purity metals using the principle that an impure melt will deposit pure crystals on solidifying. A rod of the specimen is melted over a very narrow region at one end, and then the molten region is transferred along the rod by means of a moving furnace. Impurities collect in the molten zone and are swept to one end of the metal.

2 In geology, the same mechanism has been invoked whereby incompatible trace elements are partitioned into an advancing partial melt.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography — Chemistry.

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