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Recovery of Lead from Galena by a Leach-electrolysis Procedure.

Murphy-JE; Haver-FP; Wong-MM
NTIS: PB 234 067 :8 pages
A method is being developed by the federal Bureau of Mines for recovering lead metal from galena without the generation of so2. Lead chloride is obtained by leaching lead concentrate at a temperature of approximately 100 deg c with fecl3 solution: pbs + 2fecl3 -> pbcl2 + 2fecl2 + s. Electrolysis of the pbcl2 product in a fused-salt bath results in deposition of molten lead metal at the cathode and evolution of chlorine at the anode. The chlorine can then be absorbed in the spent leach solution to regenerate fecl3 for recycling. Optimum electrolyte composition was a pbcl2li-cl eutectic containing 7.6 wt-pct licl. The pbcl2-nacl eutectic also proved satisfactory. Electrolysis in the pbcl2-licl bath 450 deg c yielded 99 pct current efficiency at current density of 5 amp/in2 with an energy requirement of only 0.24 Kw-hr/lb metal produced. This compares with 98 pct current efficiency and 0.26 Kw-hr/lb metal produced for the pbcl2-nacl bath. A typical lead deposit contained less than 100 ppm total detectable metallic impurities. At the low temperature employed for electrolysis, there was essentially no vaporization of pb or pbcl2.
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Report of Investigations
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
RI 7913
NIOSH Division
Source Name
NTIS: PB 234 067
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division