Control of Copper Electrolyte impurities using short bed ion exchange

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Courtesy of Eco-Tec Inc.

Abstract; This paper discusses the short bed ion exchange process for the removal of metal contaminants from copper electrolyte bleed streams. Processes for the selective removal of sulfuric acid, nickel, arsenic, antimony, bismuth, and iron will be discussed. Considerable importance is given in controlling nickel and iron content in electrolyte by adopting the short bed ion exchange process for low cost acid purification system. This novel method coupled with an effluent treatment plant ensures recovery of sulfuric acid, removal of nickel and iron from electrolyte, production of disposable nickel sludge besides ensuring zero discharge to environment. With a more suitable impurity management system, copper refineries are able to achieve and sustain the cathode quality superior to ASTM standard. Case studies outlining the performance of such systems are presented.

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