Optimization of Industrial Copper Electro Winning Solutions

Corby Anderson G

Laboratory testing using industrial electro winning solutions was performed to determine the best Faradic cell efficiency for copper cathode recovery. The variables tested were solution flow rate, recycle ratio, reagent addition combinations of guar and thiourea, and addition amount of acid mist suppressant CAL FAX DBA-70. The ideal flow rate was determined to be 37.85 liter/min. Additionally, the ideal recycle ratio was determined to be 10:1. The reagent addition scheme from testing which showed the highest efficiency was with 680 g/tonne guar of cathode copper won and with 135 g/tonne thiourea of cathode copper won. These values for reagent addition only reflect the best efficiency and should not be assumed to be the best reagent concentration for copper purity. The amount of foaming agent that showed the best efficiency was the test with 2 ppm of foaming agent. Again this amount of reagent is based on efficiency and should not be taken as the amount of reagent that does the best acid mist suppression. Additional proprietary surface characterization work indicates these additives may have enhanced the cathodic reduction surface morphology of some noble minor impurities. Subsequently, these operating parameters were introduced into the plant operation and proved successful after their implementation.