Depolarised anodes for electrowinning of metals

Nordic industries, in cooperation with 3 universities, aim
to develop and test fully or partly depolarised anodes for
electrowinning of metals. This depolarisation may, besides
significant energy savings, produce a better metal product.

The purpose of this project is to start up a rather broad-based study of depolarised and partly depolarised anodes in different processes for electrowinning of metals such as zinc, nickel, cobalt and copper, with the participation of companies in the metal winning area, electrode suppliers and research facilities/institutes working with industrial electrolytic processes, all within the Nordic countries. In order to make it possible to carry out fundamental studies of the concepts as well as pilot plant and large scale testing of commercial or near commercial electrodes, a small research group with at least one doctorate student and a supervisor at each institute is planned. This project will fit in very well into ongoing R & D activities being carried out by the industrial partners OUTOKUMPU RESEARCH OY, (FINLAND) and FALCONBRIDGE A/S and NORZINK A/S, (NORWAY). Great advantages may be expected from utilising fully or partly depolarised anodes for EW (electrowinning) of metals. Besides significant energy savings, depending on the degree of depolarisation that can be achieved in comparison to the anode potential of the anodes used today, for sulphate- based processes usually lead and lead-based, oxygen- evolving anodes, a better metal product, with little or no lead, can be produced. It would be rather expensive to replace oxygen-evolution completely with oxidation of hydrogen peroxide, but a concept of reducing the manganese content locally around the anode by adding a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the electrolyte around the anode, could prove to be useful. Keywords: electrowinning, process, anode.
Project ID: 
2 440
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
1 680 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Erosion, Removal (spark erosion, flame cutting, laser/plasma cutting, electrochemical erosion,waterjet cutting)
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.