Effect of forced convection of the electrolyte on copper electrorefining in the presence of impurities

T. Takasu, F. Noguchi, H. Itou, T. Nakamura

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Overall productivity in copper refining is currently determined by the electrorefining process. Previous research showed that forced convection of the electrolyte improves the morphology of the copper deposit on the cathode and suppresses passivation of the anode. In this paper, electrorefining experiments under forced convection were carried out in the presence of As, Sb and Bi impurities, both in electrolyte and in the anode, to determine the effect of the impurities on the electrorefining process. The concentrations of the impurities in the deposit increased with increasing current density without forced convection. An increase in the fluid velocity suppressed the increase in impurity concentration. These concentrations were high, especially in the initial stage of deposition without forced convection, corresponding to a decrease in the cathode potential measured during that period. This indicates that the enrichment of impurities was induced electrochemically. The reason for the decrease in cathode potential was the low concentration of copper ions on the electrode surface because of ion consumption by the electrolysis. The forced convection of the electrolyte enhanced the ionic mass transfer and thus suppressed the polarization and deposition of the impurities. The fluid motion was shown to be effective in achieving electrolysis under high current density conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication4th International Conference COPPER 99-COBRE 99
EditorsJ.E. Dutrizac, J. Ji, V. Ramachandran, J.E. Dutrizac, J. Ji, V. Ramachandran
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Dec 1
EventFourth International Conference COPPER 99 - COBRE 99 - Phoenix, AZ, United States
Duration: 1999 Oct 101999 Oct 13


OtherFourth International Conference COPPER 99 - COBRE 99
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPhoenix, AZ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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