Electrolytic Copper Refining: Pre-Passivation Behavior of Copper Anodes

Friday March 19
Chem. Sci. & Engineering Room 101
10:00 a.m.

Presenter: Dr. J. Brent Hiskey, University of Arizona, College of Engineering

Abstract: Commercial copper electrorefining accounts for the majority of refined copper produced worldwide.  Anode passivation is often encountered in these facilities with dire effects on operational efficiency and cathode quality.  Passivation results in an immediate increase in power consumption and possibility of floating slimes that can adversely affect the cathode quality.  This presentation discusses the period just prior to passivation onset.  Fast scan chronopotentiometry (FSCP) was used to obtain detailed information regarding potential oscillations in the prepassivation region.  The periodic oscillations indicate that the surface is fluctuating between unsynchronized and synchronized dissolution and formation of a sulfate salt-film.  These results yield valuable information regarding the passivation mechanism involving  commercial copper anodes.

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