Strange Science: Aqua Regia

Dissolution of gold in aqua regiaOur story this week uses aqua regia to transport gold unnoticed. But that’s not a fictional element of the story! Aqua regia is more commonly used to remove impurities from gold, but it’s entirely possible for gold to be dissolved in acid and then restored later.

This article gives a great explanation of what aqua regia is, why it’s called “royal,” and the chemical processes that take place when gold is dissolved. If you’re hoping to restore your dissolved gold (or purify gold that’s mixed with other elements and/or impurities), you’ll need to look at this article, which explains how to turn aqua regia back into gold.

Both processes are dangerous, as they involve SERIOUS acid, so they’re not recommended for at-home experimentation. But the process is fascinating to learn about, even if you won’t be trying it out yourself!

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