The energy consumption of copper production by electrowinning, generally represents more than 1/4 of the total energy requirement in hydrometallurgical traditional process (roasting, leaching, purification and electrowinning). The considerable saving can be achieved just in this step that requires about 2.2 kWh/kg of the produced copper. To save energy the cell voltage, or more appropriately its anodic component, can be reduced: that is because the anodic voltage represents the main component of cell voltage and so it is largely responsible for the excessive energy consumption in copper sulphate electrowinning. In this work some ways are studied to lower the anodic voltage. First the cobalt ions were added to the sulphate solution in order to study the catalytic effect on oxygen discharge. Then lead alloys anodes (Pb-Ag, Pb-Sb-Ag and Pb-Ca) were used to promote a better oxygen evolution as a result of a different anodic surface. Their behaviour was compared with the Pb-Sb traditional ones. Finally, as already pointed out by several authors for zinc electrowinning, ethylene glycol was employed as anodic depolariser in order to verify its effectiveness in the case of copper electrowinning. By combining all the above-mentioned ways, energy saving ranging from 20% to 27% is achieved. All the tests were carried out on a laboratory pilot-plant for long time to simulate the industrial conditions. The obtained copper deposits were observed by SEM to highlight their morphology.
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|Titolo:||Energy saving in copper electrowinning|
|Data di pubblicazione:||1997|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||04b Atto di convegno in volume|