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EMEW

World Leading Electrowinning Technology

Creating Value
Enhancing Value
Reducing Technical Risk
Broadening Process Options

Corporate Brochure

Electrometals Technologies Limited

The EMEW technology breaks traditional barriers


and opens a world of opportunities for our customers
EMEW Creates Value
The radical improvement in efficiency made possible through the EMEW technology now
allows our customers to recover value from metals previously not recovered or disposed to
waste.
The significant operating and capital cost benefits of the technology have altered the
economies of scale for metal project development creating viability where it may not have
previously existed.

EMEW Enhances Value


Electrometals and the EMEW technology enhance value for its customers through a
simple single step process for recovery of metals. In comparison with traditional methods,
we offer:
Reduced capital cost of your metal
recovery process
Reduced operating cost in a simplified
flow sheet
Accelerated return on capital
Improved product purity

Electrometals Technologies Limited is a world leader in the process of electrowinning the


recovery of metals from solution using electrolysis. Through technical innovation, intelligent
engineering and use of modern materials, the company has developed the EMEW
technology, a hardware system which effectively turbocharges an age old process. The result
is a dramatic improvement in efficiency, significant lowering in cost and extension of potential
uses well beyond its traditional market place.

Improve efficiency while

lowering costs
Broaden process options with EMEW
Due to its inherent simplicity and efficiency, the EMEW technology allows more direct
and versatile options in the field of metal recovery, through:
Capability to process low metal concentration streams
Higher productivity than conventional cells
Efficiency over a wide range of metal concentration
Higher tolerance of contaminants in solution
Capability of extracting a variety of metals
Capability of selective electrowinning of metals
Generally higher purity product
Production of either metal cathode or powder

Reduce technical risk with EMEW


The EMEW technology is:
Simple to operate
Constructed with minimal moving parts
Easy and inexpensive to maintain
Modular and portable
Easy to expand or relocate
Does not use reagents or chemicals
Delivered as a complete facility

EMEW is Safer
During conventional electrowinning
of metals (e.g. zinc, copper), oxygen
bubbles are produced at the electrodes.
When these bubbles reach the surface
they burst, liberating an aerosol of acid
called acid mist, which can affect the
health of operators, the environment
and plant infrastructure.

The International Agency for Research into


Cancer (IARC), a respected international
science group based in Europe, classified
sulfuric acid mists as causing cancer in
humans. Specifically, the IARC concluded,
"There is sufficient evidence that
occupational exposure to strong inorganic
acid mists containing sulfuric acid is
carcinogenic."
Also,
the
American
Conference of Government Industrial
Hygienists (ACGIH) has for several years
listed sulfuric acid mists as a "suspected
human carcinogen.
EMEW provides as an inherent design
characteristic complete elimination of the
release of acid mist into the workplace.
The EMEW technology captures ALL
gases that can be generated and makes
them available for collection and safe
disposal or reuse. This feature of EMEW
provides significant improvements to the
working environment.
The EMEW plant is a totally enclosed
solution management system in which the
passage of these gases is rigidly
controlled, there are no requirements for
additional controls such as surfactants or
foam layers.

Increasingly workplace safety is becoming priority


number one for employers around the world

The continuous innovation and project development work carried out over a number
of years has allowed Electrometals to develop highly specialised expertise in the field
of electrowinning. Our technical staff are familiar with a wide range of metal recovery
techniques and problems. Through this skill base, Electrometals offers:

A free EMEW appraisal service


Tell us your problems and we will give you a FREE desk top appraisal of the EMEW
solution that is right for you.
We also offer full laboratory and pilot plant testing to support our appraisal of your
application.
1.
2.
3.
4.

Design of an appropriate process flow sheet


A review of process and economic benefits that we can offer your project
A detailed comparison with other technologies
A close estimate of EMEW capital and operating costs

Applications
The application of the EMEW technology has been proven over a very wide range of
applications too many to reproduce in detail in this brochure. Amongst other possible
applications, you may be considering recovery of:
Silver, gold or other precious metals in a single step from cyanide leach solution
High quality copper directly (without SX) from a mine leach or waste solution
Metals by high current density electrowinning
Nickel and/or cobalt from ore leach solutions
Copper from a zinc or nickel process stream
Zinc from industrial waste materials
Copper, zinc or precious metal from refinery tank house bleed stream
Copper from pickling solutions
Base and precious metals from spent solutions from plating baths
Heavy metals from waste solutions to negligible levels

We would welcome the opportunity to


provide a free appraisal of your application

How EMEW Works


Electrowinning is the process of recovering metals from solutions using electrolysis.
Immerse two electrodes into a solution and pass electrical current through the circuit. The
result is that metal ions migrate towards and plate onto the negative electrode (the
cathode) thereby providing an effective separation technique.
The process is widely used in the mining and refining industries for recovery and
purification of metals such as copper, zinc, nickel, cobalt and precious metals. However, in
general terms, its use is restricted by:
High capital cost
Lack of mobility
Restricted operating windows
These limitations, which can often only be overcome by economies of scale, can be traced
back to the performance of the electrowinning cell itself. In conventional hardware the
target solution is slowly circulated through open tanks.
Cathode (-ve)

Anode (+ve)

Direction of
transport of ions

Metal ion

Zone of depletion
of metal ions

CONVENTIONAL TANK CELL

When plating from the 'bath' of solution commences, the migration of ions to the cathode
surface creates a 'zone of depletion' of metal in the solution close to the electrode (the
ions are no longer there - they have moved to the cathode surface). This leads to the
occurrence of competing reactions at the cathode (for example reduction of hydrogen)
which rob electrical current from its primary purpose. The net result is that, unless the
solution has a high concentration of the target metal, efficiency in the process will be
significantly lower than is theoretically possible.
The answer to this limitation lies in the achievement of a high 'frequency' of metal ions
within a specific volume of the target liquor (high concentration of the target metal) which
is often a costly process to achieve and is sometimes not practical.

The EMEW cell resolves the problem in a very


simple and effective manner
The high performance of the EMEW technology is simply achieved through a hydraulic
mechanism which presents metal ions to a cathode in a far more effective and direct
manner than in a conventional unit. The very high mass transport capabilities of EMEW
derive from a radical redesign of the vessel in which electrowinning is performed, and in the
method of circulation of the target solution. The essential difference is that the EMEW
cell is constructed from a pair of concentric tubular, rather than planar, electrodes. The
ends of the assembly are fitted with plastic end caps, forming a closed chamber through
which target solution can be pumped at high rate. The resulting high flow and efficient
mixing result in forced and continual supply of metal ions to the surface of the cathode.
Anode (+ve)
Solution
Flow

Direction of
transport of ions

Cathode (-ve)

EMEW CELL

The EMEW technology is patented around the world and forms the heart of modular
plants designed and supplied by Electrometals Technologies Limited. The technology can
be built into custom designs for specialised applications in almost any configuration. Two
standard models are currently offered:

The EMEW plating cell


Current density up to 1000 a/m2
Product is a high quality solid cathode
Serial or parallel arrangements of 6 (150mm) diameter plating cells
Only moving part is a process pump

The EMEW powder cell


Current density up to 2000 a/m2
Product is an easily liberated metal powder
Harvesting process totally automated
Full PLC control provided
Serial or parallel arrangements of 8 (200mm) diameter plating cells

To find out how EMEW can improve your bottom line contact us today

Countries
USA
Indonesia
Democratic Republic of Congo
Canada
United Kingdom
Belgium
Poland
Chile
Brazil

South Africa
Zimbabwe

India
Mexico
Italy
Peru
France
Switzerland
Zambia

Metals
Copper
Silver
Gold
Platinum
Rhodium
Nickel
Tin
Zinc
Manganese
Cadmium
Lead

Electrometals Technologies Limited

28 Commercial Drive, Ashmore, Queensland Australia 4214


Phone +61 7 5526 4663
Fax
+61 7 5527 0299
Email
Web

emew@electrometals
www.electrometals.com.au