Electrowinning of Copper from CuSO4 Solution Introduction Copper extraction was done in order to improve the purity of the

metal that is suitable for commercial use. Many developments have been made on the extraction of copper. One example of a pyrometallurgical process of extraction is copper smelting which involves the emission of harmful gases such as SO2. This major problem gave rise to the hydrometallurgical processes of extracting copper from sulfide concentrates. An example of this process is electrowinning. [1] Electrowinning process involves the immersion of the metal cathode and inert anodes into an electrolytic solution containing CuSO4 and H2SO4. Current from an external source is allowed to flow through the electrolyte via cathode and anode. The energy from the electric current causes the plating of the copper from the electrolyte to the cathode through the reduction of Cu2+ ions to Cu0 metal. After the electroplating of pure copper to the cathode, the plated copper is stripped from the cathode. [2] The cathodic reaction in electrowinning is

(3) The cathode size used in the process is determined by considerations of shipping containers and openings of furnace used in the remelting of copper. Most processes uses coldrolled lead alloyed with tin and calcium as anode. The tin is for strengthening, resisting corrosion and corrosion layer conductivity while the calcium is for enhancing mechanical properties and lowering the anode potential. For cell design, most electrolytic cells are made up of polymer concrete which have linings that are chemically resistant. Their length is dependent on the space between the electrodes. [2]

(1) Figure 1. Schematic view of an electrowinning cell [2]

The anodic reaction involves the decomposition of water at the anode to form oxygen gas.
→ →

(2) The overall reaction in electrowinning is

The product of electrowinning can be as pure as or purer than those obtained from electrorefining process. Because of the widely used applications of electrowinning in the industry, many studies are being made to improve the efficiency of the process by maximizing the energy consumption and to produce high purity copper metal. [2] The understanding of the principles and mechanisms involve in the process such as the effect of various parameters on the metal deposition is

Metallurgy of Copper. and S." Hydrometallurgy Volume 59 (2001) pages 55-67. Oxford. 2011.important in process design. Panda. Elsevier. Thus. Schlesinger. Parameters such as the amount of copper sulfate in solution. "Electrowinning of copper from sulfate electrolyte in presence of sulfurous acid. et al. References: [1] B. [2] M. Chapter 17. E. Das. In Extractive . the experiment aims to analyze the principles involved in the extraction of copper from copper sulfate ions through electrowinning. the acid strength of the solution and the temperature of the electrolytic cell are considered and their effects on the copper deposition are investigated.C.

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