A small pipe entering below the false bottom allows the air in the cistern to escape as it is displaced by the water or syrup. In some refineries this pipe, which is carried up to a higher level than the top of the cistern, is fitted with a whistle which sounds as long as the air escapes.
Sulphuric acid may be applied as such on the ores placed in lead, brick, or stone chambers; or as a mixture of sulphur dioxide, nitrous fumes (generated from Chile saltpetre and sulphuric acid), and steam, which permeates the ore resting on the false bottom of a brick chamber.
The aeration of the water is effected by blowing air into the steam before it is condensed; as an auxiliary, the storage tanks have a false bottom perforated by fine holes so that if air be injected below it, the water is efficiently aerated by the air which traverses it in fine streams. After condensation the water is filtered through charcoal.