Evaluation of the Ferrous/Ferric-Sulfur Dioxide Anode Reaction for Integration into the Copper Leaching-Solvent Extraction-Electrowinning Circuit

Sandoval, S. P. ; Hoffman, J. E. ; Lei, K. P.V. ; O&apos, ; Keefe, T. J.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 15
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1993
The U.S. Bureau of Mines investigated the use of the Fe2+/Fe3+-SO2 (FFS) anode reaction in the copper leaching-solvent extraction-electrowinning circuit. The investigation revealed that six process variables, including anode type, Fe 21 concentration, current density, electrolyte temperature, degree of agitation, and manifold injection point were found to influence cell voltage and cell current efficiency. A 47% voltage reduction (0.8 versus 1.5 V) compared to conventional electrowinning with activated lead (ALE) anodes was achieved at a current density of 258 A/m2 (24 A/ft2) with an industrial electrolyte. Current efficiency was maintained above 90%, and S02 above the cell measured less than 1 ppm when activated carbon was used to assist the reduction of Fe" by S02 in the copper electrolyte. Solvent extraction tests showed that Alamine 336 is a stronger H2SO4 extractant than is needed to extract the excess acid produced by the FFS anode reaction.
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