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Membrane Water Treatment
  Volume 10, Number 3, May 2019 , pages 201-206

Parametric study for enhanced performance of Cu and Ni electrowinning
Joohyun Kim, Han S. Kim, and Sungjun Bae

    In this study, we performed an electrowinning process for effective removal of metals (Cu and Ni) in solution and their recovery as solid forms. A complete removal of Cu and Ni (1,000 mg/L) was observed during four times recycling test, indicating that our electrowinning system can ensure the efficient metal removal with high stability and durability. In addition, we investigated effect of operation parameters (i.e., concentration of boric acid only for Ni, variation of pH, concentration of electrolyte (H2SO4), and cell voltage) on the efficiency of metal removal (Cu and Ni) during the electrowinning. The addition of boric acid significantly enhanced removal efficiency of Ni as the concentration of boric acid increased up to 10 g/L. Compared to negligible pH effect (pH 1, 2, and 4) on the Cu removal, we observed the increase in removal efficiency of Ni as the pH increased from 1 to 4. The electrolyte concentration did not significantly influence the removal of Cu and Ni in this study. We also obtained great removal rates of Cu and Ni at 2.5 V and 4.0 V, which were much faster than those at lower voltages. Finally, almost 99% of each Cu and Ni (1,000 mg/L) was selectively removed from the mixture of metals by adjusting pH and addition of boric acid after the completion of Cu removal. The findings in this study can provide a fundamental knowledge about effect of important parameters on the efficiency of metal recovery during the electrowinning.
Key Words
    electrowinning; extractive metallurgy; metal recovery; anode
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Konkuk University,
120 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05029, Republic of Korea

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