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Formation of sulphur oxyanions and their influence on antimony electrowinning from sulphide electrolytes
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Sustainable Process Engineering.
Boliden Mineral AB.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Sustainable Process Engineering.
2013 (English)In: Minerals Engineering, ISSN 0892-6875, E-ISSN 1872-9444, Vol. 53, p. 39-47Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Antimony electrowinning from synthetic alkaline sulphide electrolytes has been studied in a nondiaphragm electrolytic cell. The electrodes were constructed in such a way that the anode produces ten times higher current density than the cathodic current density to promote sulphide oxidation to sulphate at the anode; and simultaneously decreasing the tendency of hydrogen evolution at the cathode. The result revealed that at an anodic current density lower than 1500 A/m2, minute amounts of sulphate ions were formed but when the anode current density increased beyond 1500 A/m2, sulphate formation was promoted. The initial molar concentration ratio between hydroxide and free sulphide ions should be ≥ 10.3 to avoid thiosulphate formation at 2000 A/m2 anodic current density under the conditions used in these experiments. The highest anodic current efficiency obtained based on the amount of sulphate formed was 89%. An increase in the anode current density as well as NaOH concentration enhances the cathodic and anodic current efficiencies with respect to the antimony metal deposited and sulphate ions produced, respectively. Despite the high anodic current densities used, the specific energy of this process ranges from 0.6 to 2.3 kWh/kg which is significantly lower than values reported previously due to the prevention of undesirable sulphur species from being formed. The tests revealed that the concentration of thiosulphate formed during the electrolysis decreased with increasing anode current density and NaOH concentration. Addition of polysulphide from 0 to 30 g/L to the electrolyte decreases the current efficiency from 83% to 32% and correspondingly increases the specific energy from 1.7 to 4.8 kWh/kg. Results showed that a build-up of sulphite and sulphate ions in the solution does not have any detrimental effect on the current efficiency of antimony deposition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 53, p. 39-47
National Category
Metallurgy and Metallic Materials
Research subject
Process Metallurgy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-5828DOI: 10.1016/j.mineng.2013.07.001Local ID: 404050e5-3ea7-4d4b-a8f9-add0df935f87OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-5828DiVA: diva2:978704
Note
Validerad; 2013; 20130325 (samawe)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved

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