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MBIUS CELL SILVER ELECTROREFINING PROCESS:

ELIMINATION OF ANODE SCRAP RECYCLING


Dr. Mikhail Maliarik
Outotec Sweden AB
Gymnasievgen 14, SE-931 27, Skellefte, Sweden
mikhail.maliarik@outotec.com
ABSTRACT
Test work on Silver Electrorefining Process in a laboratory electrolytic cell was performed aiming to study
dissolution of silver anode scrap. The tests were carried out at Outotec Research Center (ORC, Pori,
Finland). Both anode scrap and silver electrolyte was received from a Precious Metal plant operating with
Mbius cell process. Several titanium baskets of different size and design for loading anode stubs in the
cell were manufactured for the tests. Both temperature and pH of the catholyte were automatically
controlled during the tests as in a standard Outotecs Silver Electrorefining Process. Cell voltage was
monitored during all tests. Conductivity of the electrolyte, pH in the anolyte and concentration of NOxgases over the cell were regularly measured. Refined silver was manually scrapped from the cathodes
every hour. Anode slime formed during dissolution of the anode scrap was collected in anode bags fitting
the titanium baskets. Different ways to remove anode slime from the surface of anode stubs were tested.
Both catholyte and anolyte flows as well as current density were varied during the tests. Elemental
composition of the slime and purity of cathode silver was analysed. Samples of electrolyte (both anolyte
and catholyte) were regularly taken and analyzed. The weight of all solid products was recorded and
material balance of the process was calculated. Current efficiency of the process was determined.
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KEYWORDS
Silver electrorefining, Mbius cell, High current density electrolysis, Automatic scraping of cathode silver,
Dor anode scrap