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Terms & Synonyms

Official WHO Definition

Removal of soluble material or fine particles from a porous medium by liquid passing through. Recovery of certain compounds contained in a powdery, permeable or porous medium by injecting a solvent into the material to be processed (UN 1992). 

Other Definitions


Interpretations and Explanations

Can be used directly in highly fragmented ground ("in situ leaching") or on material that has been removed, broken up and placed in a suitable area ("heap leaching"). Leaching is used to recover metallic elements such as uranium. It's also how run-off water carries away certain components from waste (UN 1992).


United Nations (1992) Terminology Bulletin No 344 on Environment and Development

United Nations Multilingual Terminology Database

WHO Lexicon page (translations and examples)

See also

External Resources


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