Selective Nickel Electrowinning from Dilute Electrolytes.
Smith GR; Thompson WR; Richardson PE
MISSING :20 pages
Critical and strategic metals are often present in small quantities in low-grade domestic ores. When these ores are leached, the resulting solution usually contains the metals in very dilute quantities. Selective electrowinning from dilute electrolytes was investigated by the Bureau of Mines. A metal deposit containing 84 pct nickel was electrowon from the leach solution of a complex domestic ore bulk flotation concentrate originally containing approximately 2 wt-pct nickel. Key to achieving accelerated deposition rates, in the case of dilute solutions, is the rapid movement of the electrolyte through the electrowinning cell. Pure, synthetic nickel electrolytes were used to establish deposition parameters, and to optimize electrolyte velocity or mass transfer rates. Hydrodynamic and electrodeposition parameters for both the synthetic and leach electrolytes are presented and the experimental research described. Selective electrowinning appears to offer a viable alternative to physical separation methods to obtain separate metal "concentrates" from low-grade ores.
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