Zhengzhou Zhengyang Machinery Equipment Co., Ltd

The role and principle of copper electrolysis

2022-04-06 15:41:54

Copper is a good electrical conductor and is widely used in the manufacture of wires and assemblies. Purification of copper is a form of recovery. Copper is further purified by electrolysis, which we call copper electrorefining (electrorefining).

The production of electrolytic copper is carried out in huge copper electrolytic cells filled with copper electrolytic solution. Even the best chemical methods cannot remove all impurities from copper, but with electrorefining it is possible to produce 99.99% pure copper (no matter which method is used to produce copper from ore, its final purification is by electrolysis ).

The principle of electrolytic copper:

Principles 

of copper refining

The blister copper (containing 99% copper) is pre-made into a thick plate as the anode, and pure copper is used as the cathode, and the two electrodes are placed in sulfuric acid and copper sulfate solution (electrolyte solution through which ions pass). After electrification, copper dissolves from the anode into copper ions, moves to the cathode, and obtains electrons after reaching the cathode to precipitate pure copper. Impurities in blister copper, such as iron and zinc, which are more active than copper, will dissolve into ions together with copper. Since these ions are less likely to be precipitated than copper ions, the precipitation of these ions on the anode can be avoided as long as the potential difference is properly adjusted during electrolysis. Impurities less reactive than copper, such as gold and silver, are deposited on the bottom of the cell. The copper produced in this way is called "electrolytic copper".

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