Determination of the Distribution of Cupric Chloro-Complexes in Hydrochloric Acid Solutions at 298 K

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The distribution of metal-chloro complexes in hydrochloric acid solutions is a fundamental aspect of anion exchange reactions that allows ultrahigh purification during hydrometallurgical processes. However, these exchange reactions are not yet understood in detail. To clarify and improve anion exchange separation so as to obtain a more sophisticated purification process, it is necessary to accurately determine the distribution of metal-chloro complexes. In the present work, cupric-chloro complexes were investigated because copper is one of the most important base metals in modern society. The absorption spectra of solutions of these complexes were acquired at 298 K and analyzed by multivariate curve resolution–alternating least squares method (MCR–ALS), a factor analysis technique widely used in chemometrics. The resulting cupric-chloro complex distributions were fitted with a thermodynamic model using appropriate activity coefficients extended to the concentrated solutions. These calculations employed a modified Debye–Hückel model because the distributions acquired through the model-free MCR–ALS analysis were less meaningful, both physically and chemically. It was concluded that five [CuIICln]2−n species, where n = 0–4, are present in the hydrochloric acid solutions. In addition, cumulative formation constants and pure molar attenuation coefficients were obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)704-719
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Solution Chemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 1


  • Cumulative formation constant
  • Cupric chloro-complexes
  • Factor analysis
  • Hydrochloric acid solution
  • Molar attenuation coefficient
  • Multivariate curve resolution–alternating least squares
  • Principal component analysis
  • UV–Visible spectroscopy


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