The Electrowinning of Dilute Zinc Sulfate Solutions in a Fluidized Bed Electrochemical Reactor.
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A cylindrical, fluidized bed electrochemical reactor (fber) was employed to electrowin dilute zinc sulfate solutions containing 2.5 to 15 g/l zinc. The planar electrodes used in the industrial electrowinning of zinc requires 50 to 65 g/l zinc. A low acid catholyte solution of 5 g/l is the maximum concentration necessary for the efficient recovery of zinc. The addition of 60 g/l of na2so4 electrolyte improved both the catholyte conductivity and current efficiency. The optimum current efficiency and current density were obtained using a particle size of plus 355 minus 500 um and a bed width of 1.3 Cm. At a zinc concentration of 15 g/l, the fber could be operated at current densities and at volumetric reaction rates greatly exceeding that of a conventional planar electrowinning cell.
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Univ. of Nevada At Reno