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Recovery of lead from battery sludge by electrowinning.
Cole-ER Jr.; Lee-AY; Paulson-DL
J Met 1983 Aug; 35(8):42-46
Research by the Bureau of Mines has resulted in a combination electrorefining-electrowinning method for recycling the lead from scrap batteries. The lead metal grids and lugs are separated from the sludge by ball milling, washing, and screening and are melted and cast into anodes for electrorefining by the betts process using waste fluosilicic acid as the electrolyte. The betts process, established in commercial use for 80 years, has been well described in the literature and needs no further description here. The sulfate-oxide-metal sludge remaining after separation of the lead metal is treated in a two-step leaching operation with ammonium carbonate, waste flousilicic acid, and pb powder to solubilize the lead for recovery be electrowinning. Unlike electrorefining, electrowinning is not being practiced commercially now. Prior attempts to electrowin lead have failed because large quantities of insoluble lead dioxide are deposited on the anodes at the expense of lead deposition on the cathodes. This paper describes bench-scale research for recovering lead from battery sludge by electrowinning that prevents PbO2 formation at the anodes. The bench-scale work has been successfully completed, and electrowinning experiments are presently being conducted in a 20-liter multielectrode cell.
OP; Journal Article
Issue of Publication
Journal of Metals
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division