As part of the goal to maximize minerals and metals recovery from primary domestic resources, design factors associated with minimizing current leakage in bipolar cell configurations were studied by the Bureau of Mines as a means of improving the efficiency of bipolar electrooxidation cells. Initial studies that were conducted in a small bipolar cell operating at 140 to 145 volts and 15.4 Amp indicated how design factors could be employed to minimize current leakage around adjacent electrodes during cell operation. Based on these results, a 40-electrode, 108-kva prototype of an industrial-sized cell was constructed and tested for extracting metal values from offgrade molybdenite concentrates. The feasibility of recovering molybdenum and rhenium from the oxidized pulp also was determined. Feed to the process sequence consisted of flotation concentrates containing 16 to 35 pct mo as molybdenite and 6 to 15 pct cu. Electrooxidation in the prototype cell resulted in 84 to 97 pct mo and re extraction with a corresponding energy consumption of 9 to 13 kwhr/lb mo extracted.
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