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Copper Electrolyte

Purification Systems
F r Hy
Fo
Hydrometa
t ll
l urg
r ic
i al Pr
Processes

Recover Acid and Valuable Byproducts


while Controlling Impurities

Copper Electrolyte Purification Systems


Problem

Solution

Controlling the level of impurities is essential to the


efficient production of high purity copper in
electrorefining and electrowinning operations. The
contaminants that are problematic can differ
depending upon the composition of the feedstock.

Eco-Tec Electrolyte Purification Systems cater to each


contaminant problem. The Electrolyte Purification
Systems include:
NiRS- Nickel Removal System
BARS- Bismuth/A
/ ntimony Removal System
ARS- Arsenic Removal System
SeRS Selenium Removal System
TeRS- Tellurium Removal System.

Typical contaminants found in electro-refining and


electrowining operations are:
Nickel
Bismuth/A
/ ntimony
Arsenic
Selenium
Tellurium

These systems remove the contaminants present in the


electrolyte bleed in order to recycle the electrolyte. In
some cases, the contaminant can be converted into a
valuable by-product.

The standard procedure is to continuously or


The benefits resulting from Eco-Tecs Electrolyte
periodically bleed off decopperized electrolyte in
Purification Systems are:
order to maintain contaminants at an
Increased electrolyte purity (lower contaminant level)
acceptable level. While this solves the contaminant
Higher cathode purity
problem, significant quantities of valuable chemicals
Increased electrolytic process efficiency (lower
are lost. In some cases, highly acidic waste spent
voltage/higher current efficiency)
electrolyte must be neutralized with caustic or lime,
Reduced sulfuric acid purchases
resulting in large quantities of waste sludge which
Reduced lime purchases
must be disposed.
Reduced waste treatment costs
Revenue from sale of valuable byproducts

Copper Ta
T nk House

Copper Ta
T nk House

Bleed Stream to
Liberator Cells

Bleed Stream to
Liberator Cells
Liberator Cell

Acid and Contaminants


for Wa
W ste Treatment


Typical Copper Electrolyte Treatment for
contaminant removal

Purified
Electrolyte

W ter
Wa
Eco-Te
T c
Electrolyte
Purification
Systems


Eco-Tec Electrolyte Puriication Systems continuously recycle puriied electrolyte and allow economical production of saleable byproducts.

Nickel Removal System (NiRS)


The Nickel Removal Unit is backwashed using
Electrolyte from the copper liberator cells is
only water to produce a purified electrolyte
directed to the Spectrum Micro Media Filter to
stream for recycle to the copper tank house or
remove suspended solids by an automated,
backwashable filter with a permanent
leach circuit.
media.
Puriffied Electrolyte to Ta
T nk House or Leach
The filtered solution then flows
through a Nickel Removal Unit which
consists of a proprietary ion
W ter
Wa
exchange resin column where the
electrolyte solution (sulfuric acid) is
Reagent
removed by the resin. A deacidified
metal salt stream flows to a treatment From
Liberator
tank where chemical reagent is
Resin
Cells
Byproduct
Bed
Spectrum
added to precipitate nickel (and other
Treatment
Micro
Nickel
Media
Removal
metals) salts. The metal salts are
Filter
Unit
dewatered and washed to produce a
Deacidiffied Metal
saleable byproduct.
Nickel Salts
For Filter
Salt Stream
Backwash
In some cases it is beneficial to
electrowin the nickel from the
Filter
Backwash Wa
W ste
deacidified stream to produce nickel
metal rather than nickel salts.

Typical Performance
H2SO4
(g/l)

Ni
(g/l)

Cu
(g/l)

Relative Flow

275

15.00

5.00

Purified Electrolyte

233.75

4.50

1.50

Metal By-product

41.25

10.50

3.50

15%

70%

70%

Stream
Feed

Water
Loss/Removal

Equipment
The Ni
T
Nicke
k l Remova
v l Sy
Syste
t m uses sta
t nda
d rd
r
pro
r cess equip
i ment wh
w ic
i h has been
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f lllly in
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o era
r te
t d in
i
hydrometa
hy
t lllurg
r ic
i al pla
l nts
t wo
w rl
rldwi
wide. Th
T is
i
photo
t shows
w a Sp
S ectr
trum Mi
Micro
r Medi
dia Fi
Filte
t r
(A) and a Ni
Nicke
k l Remova
v l Un
U it (B)
B fe
f aturi
ring a
pro
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rieta
t ry
r Recoflflo re
r sin
i column. Th
T e
equip
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l ng wi
w th
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l te
t d ta
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contr
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r manufa
f cture
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t d in
i
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Ec
T cs
fa
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to
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A
B

opper Electrolyte Purification Systems


Bismuth / Antimony Removal System (BARS)
Bismuth and antimony are often present in copper electrolytes. In cert
r ain concentrations, along with arsenic, they
produce slimes that may be beneficial for control of impurities in the copper. However, higher concentrations can be
problematic.
The Bismuth/A
/ ntimony Removal System (BARS) uses Recoflo
o technology and a selective ion exchange resin for
the removal of bismuth and antimony. The resin is regenerated with salt (NaCl) and a small amount of hydrochloric
acid (HCl). Recognizing that chlorides can be a contaminant for copper electrolytes, the system is designed to
prevent cross-contamination of the electrolyte by the regenerant solution. Upon regeneration of the resin, the
bismuth/a
/ ntimony chloride stream is treated to precipitate salts of bismuth and antimony.
If the quantity of antimony and bismuth is sufficient, it may be beneficial to incorporate an additional step to separate
the salts and realize higher value byproducts. Consult Eco-Tec for furt
r her details.

There are two configurations of BARS for a copper refinery.


Copper Ta
T nk House

BARS-A: This configuration


is used when there is a Nickel
Removal System (NiRS)
installed and the flow rate of
the nickel removal stream
provides sufficient flow for the
required removal of bismuth or
antimony. In this case, the
BARS system processes the
NiRS treated stream to
remove bismuth and
antimony.

Purifiec Electrolyte Recycle


[Depleted Ni/Sb/Bi product]

Bleed Stream to
Liberator Cells
Liberator Cell

W ter
Wa

Eco-Te
T c Nickel
Removal System
(if required)
Ni Salt or
Metal

NaCI
HCI

Eco-Te
T c Bi/Sb
Removal
System

W ter
Wa
Bi/Sb Salt

Puriffied Electrolyte Recycle

Dilute Wa
W ste

NaCI HCI Wa
W ter

Copper Ta
T nk House

BARS-B: This configuration is used when


there is no Nickel Removal System (NiRS)
required or when the treatment flowrate of the
NiRS is insufficient to provide an adequate
flow to the BARS system for the required
bismuth/antimony removal. In this case the
BARS system treats copper electrolyte directly
for the tank house and includes its own
Spectrum Micro Media prefiltration unit.

Eco-Te
T c Bi/Sb
Removal
System
Purified Electrolyte

Bleed Stream to recycle


Liberator Cells
Liberator Cell

Dilute Wa
W ste
Bi//Sb Salt

Arsenic Removal System (ARS)


Arsenic is often present in copper electrolytes. In cert
r ain concentrations, along with bismuth and antimony, they produce
slimes that may be beneficial for control of impurities in the copper. However, higher concentrations can be problematic.
The Arsenic Removal System (ARS) uses Recoflo technology and a selective ion exchange resin for the removal of
arsenic. The feed stream to the ARS is dosed with sulfur dioxide to reduce As (V) to As (III). The purified electrolyte
stream is recycled back to the copper tank house while the resin is periodically regenerated with caustic (NaOH) and
water to produce a concentrated, dissolved arsenic salt stream.

Copper Ta
T nk House

Bleed Stream to Liberator Cells

Liberator Cell

Purifiec Electrolyte Recycle

Eco-Te
T c Nickel
Removal System
(if required)

Eco-Te
T c Bi/Sb
Removal System
(if required)
SO2

NaO
OH
W ter
Wa

Eco-Te
T c As
Removal
System

[Depleted As product]
Dissolved Arsenic salt stream

Copper Electrolyte Purification Systems


Selenium Removal System (SeRS)
Tellurium Removal System (TeRS)
co-Tec Selenium Removal System and Tellurium Removal System are currently
under development, please contact Eco-Tec for more information.

Other Eco-Tec Products for


Hydrometallurgical Operations
Acid/s
/ alt separation using water eluable resin e.g. sulphuric acid separation
from metal salts
Recovery
r of metal salts from dilute streams using ion exchange
Selective resin separation e.g. nickel, cobalt
Microfiltration of process solution using permanent
backw
k ashable media (Spectrum filter)
Water demineralization or softening

Innovations
Falconbridge Innovation Award
Presented to Eco-Tec Inc. in
recognition of The invention,
development and international
commercialization of the APU for
the purification of acidic
solutions in the metallurgical
industry.
Eco-Tec continues to develop product improvements and
new processes with its in-house Research and
Development facility.

Ion Exchange & Filtration


RecoFlo Ion Exchange:
Eco-Tecs Systems use the Recoflo ion exchange process which improves the
performance of ion exchange.
Recoflo has been used for over 40 years in a variety of industrial water
treatment and chemical process applications with more than 2,000 systems
installed worldwide.

Key features include:


Fine Mesh Resin
Finer mesh resin pack more surface area
into the same volume

Compressed Short Resin Beds


Compressed resin beds promote uniform
flow distribution and plug flow conditions.

Counter-Current Regeneration

Spectrum Micro Media Filtration


Superior filtration performance to eliminate many of the fouling problems related to
ion exchange, reverse osmosis, or solvent extraction.
Conventional.
Media
Filter
Co
C
onve
ventitional Medi
dia
P rt
Pa
rticle Si
Size: 20 - 30
3 mes
esh

Spectrum
Micro Media
Filter
Nuts
N
tshel
ell Me
M d
diia
P rt
Pa
rticle Si
Size: 20 - 30
3 mes
esh

Spectrum Micro Media


P rt
Pa
rticle
l Siz
i e: 80 - 230 mesh

The layer of micro media has a very small particle size and acts as a barrier to small suspended solid particles. The
Spectrum micro media is proprietary,
y inert, long-life
f (virtually permanent) media. It is much heavier in density than
nutshells or sand which ensures that it reclassiies (resettles below the nutshells aft
f er backwashing) and is virtually
impossible to backwash out of the ilter vessel.

Designed for simple, low cost operation

5 standard models ranging from 50 - 2,000 gpm, (11 - 450 m3/hr)

Offering The Complete Package


Proven Performance
ystem operating at a Freeport McMoRan fa
f cility (left
f ). More than 1,000 systems of
this type are installed to purify
f acids in a variety of industrial applications.
Eco-T
- ec has been building Recofl
f o ion exchange systems fo
f r industrial treatment
and water purifc
f ation applications since 1970 with more than 2,000 systems
installed in over 60 countries.

Quality Design and Construction


ISO 9001 registered design and manufa
f cturing fa
f cility in Pickering, Ontario
Built to global industrial standards
Compact, skid mounted (including resin installation) and wet tested at Eco-T
- ecs ISO fa
f ctory

Technical Service and Support


On-site commissioning supervision, perfo
f rmance demonstration, and operator training
Perfo
f rmance monitoring and technical support program (Eco-SERV
R )
24/7 telephone access to technical services support
Extensive spare parts inventory fo
f r next day shipment of most replacement parts

For more info


f rmation, or to request a proposal, visit our website or contact:
Eco-Te
T c Inc.
1145 Squires Beach Road
Pickering, Ontario
Canada L1W 3T9
Phone: (1) 905-427-0077
Fax: (1) 905-427-4477
ecotec@eco-tec.com

Eco-Te
T c Solutions - India
No 5 City Center,
930 Synagogue Street, Camp,
PUNE, India 411 001
Phone: (91) (020) 64001056
Fax: (91) (020) 26052160
eco-tec@eco-tecsolutions.com

Prosep Te
T chnologies Limited
Unit 6A, Zone 4, Burntwood Business Park
Burntwood, Staff
ffordshire
England WS7 3XD
Phone: +44(0)1543 675731
Fax: +44(0)1543 679484
ptl@eco-tec.com

www.
w eco-tec.com
Revised: 12 02 07

BRMC600

All statements, info


f rmation and recommendations contained herein are, to our knowledge, true and accurate. However, no guarantee or warranty is given, expressed or
implied. Nor shall any statement, info
f rmation or recommendation constitute a representation unless set fo
f rth in an agreement signed by Eco-Te
T c. Recoflo is a registered
trademark of Eco-Te
T c Inc.. All rights reserv
r ed.