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Recovery of Lead from Lead Chloride by Fused-salt Electrolysis.

Haver FP; Elges CH; Bixby DL; Wong MM
NTIS: PB 258 108 :18 pages
The Bureau of Mines has investigated the electrochemical reduction of lead chloride as a method for producing lead without the pollution problems associated with smelting. It was determined that high-purity metal (>99.9 pct pb) could be obtained, using pbcl2 prepared by ferric chloride leaching of galena concentrate: pbs + 2fecl3 -> pbcl2 + 2fecl2 + s deg. Optimum results in small-scale electrolytic tests were achieved with a bath consisting of 40 to 70 wt-pct pbcl2 dissolved in kcl-licl eutectic, an operating temperature of 450 deg c, a current density of 2.5 Amp/in2, and an electrode spacing of 0.5 Inch. In large-scale tests made to develop a cell design for commercial application, the optimum electrode arrangement proved to be a bipolar configuration with horizontal plates. This gave a current efficiency of 86 pct with an energy requirement of 0.52 Kwhr/lb lead. To determine the effect of impurity buildup in the bath, 1,200 lb of pbcl2 prepared by ferric chloride leaching of galena concentrate was electrolyzed over a period of 2 months. Little deterioration of the metal quality occurred in that time; all of the lead produced had a purity equal to or better than corroding grade (>99.94 pct pb).
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Report of Investigation;
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
RI 8166
NIOSH Division
Source Name
NTIS: PB 258 108
Page last reviewed: November 26, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division