REFINING ELECTROLYSIS OF THE SECONDARY SILVER ALLOYS
., Vadász P., Tomášek K.
Technical University of Kosice, Faculty of Metallurgy, Department of Ceramics, Slovakia
Experimental results of the electrolytic refining of silver aimed to study of the influence of metallic impurities on thecathode metal purity from secondary resources are presented in this paper. Horizontal Thumb electrolyser was usedfor these experiments. Influence of the concentration of the metallic impurities in the electrolyte on the purity of cathode silver was studied after redistribution of the impurities between electrolyte, anode slime and cathode metal.The influence of silver concentration in electrolyte on the cathode silver was studied in the first set of experiments.Decreasing of silver content in the nitrate electrolyte under 55 g.dm
caused decreasing of the cathode silver purity.The influence of the Cu, Zn, Pd, Ni, Au, Pt, Sn, Pb, Fe, Bi and Sb content in the anodes and in the electrolyte on theresulting purity of cathode silver was studied in the second set of experiments. The results obtained are presented inthe figures and tables in this paper.
It is possible to divide the metallic impurities into three groups. Copper and palladium is the in the first groupand their concentration in the cathode silver were more than 10
wt.%. Palladium is dissolved in the electrolyteand due to higher electrochemical potential than that silver has, is precipitated in the cathode preferably. Copperhas much higher concentration in the electrolyte as silver and at lower potential is mechanically precipitatedtogether with silver as a copper “cathode sponge”.Zinc is in the second group only. Zn content was 10
wt.% in the cathode at 20 g.dm
of Zn concentration in theelectrolyte. Mechanism of Zn precipitation in the cathode metal was very similar as at copper. Zinc at lawelectrochemical potential is precipitated in the cathode mechanically at its high concentration in the electrolyte.The third group is created by other metallic impurities and their content were under 10
wt.% in the cathodesilver. Gold and platinum is not dissolved in the electrolyte and so its influence is negligible and these metalsare concentrated in the anode slime. Ni, Fe, Sn, Pb, Sb and Bi have similar dissolving and precipitatingmechanism as Cu and Zn but their content in the anode were very low.
silver, electrolysis, silver refining
The aim of this work was to study the behaviour of metallic impurities in the process of electrolyticrefining of silver and measure the impact of concentrations of metals in the supporting electrolyteon the cathode silver purity. Secondary raw materials were formed by silver metal electrical waste,dental metals, jewellery and scrap processed in the electrolytic refining of nitrate electrolyte onsterling silver. Diversity processed metallised silver waste was also reflected in the quality andquantity of accompanying metals. Among the impurities in refining silver, except for base metalsinclude platinum and gold and silver metals in dental waste and jewellery. Silver cathode must meetthe requirements of STN 42 38 30 , ie must have a purity of at least 99.9 wt.% Ag.2. Experimental sectionIn the experimental section describing the work of laboratory equipment, experimentalmethodology and methods of chemical analysis of metals in the studied products, electrolyticrefining of silver.2.1 Experimental device