Lead is recovered in an electrolytic cell, wherein solid pbcl2 is placed in direct contact with a cathode plate so that upon application of a current, direct reduction to metallic lead takes place. The aqueous electrolyte may be the filtered solution from the leaching of galena concentrate with fecl3. The electrolyte includes a slurry of fecl2 in solution and pbcl2 precipitate. The fecl2 is converted through electrolysis to fecl3, which is then recycled to leach more concentrate. Thus, with a solution containing fecl2 65, nacl 230, and pbcl2 25 g/l, electrolysis at 25 deg c, with a current density 150 a/ft2, at 5.02 V, gave a current efficiency of 86.9 pct.
U.S. Pat. 4,181,588, Jan. 1, 1980; Chem. Abstr. 91:214,571Q