Controllable Production of Ag/Zn and Ag Particles from Hydrometallurgical Zinc Solutions

Zulin Wang, Pyry-Mikko Hannula, Swarnalok De, Benjamin P. Wilson, Jaana Vapaavuori, Kirsi Yliniemi, Mari Lundström*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
125 Downloads (Pure)


Ag/Zn and Ag particles have been successfully produced from electrolytes simulating zinc process solutions containing a high zinc concentration (65 g/L) and a negligible silver concentration (0.5-50 ppm) using a facile and sustainable electrodeposition-redox replacement (EDRR) method. Results show that the particle size and chemical composition of the deposited Ag/Zn and Ag particles can be readily controlled by varying the operating parameters such as replacement time and agitation. Electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance (EQCM) studies supported with SEM-EDS and TEM results indicate that the EDRR process consists of three regions: (I) zinc pulse deposition; (II) redox replacement between the Ag+ ions and the deposited Zn, formation of a Zn/Ag alloy structure, and competing Zn oxidation by H+ ions; and (III) further replacement between Ag+ ions and Zn (alloy) formed in the previous stage and possible silver reduction by hydrogen. The Zn (alloy) has a higher reduction potential which hinders the competing H+ reduction and sequentially improves the utilization efficiency of the sacrificial metal (Zn). Furthermore, by using the EDRR method, Ag/Zn particles could be successfully obtained from solutions with an extremely low Ag concentration of 0.5 ppm. The promising results demonstrate the feasibility of producing Ag-based functional materials utilizing trace amounts of Ag from zinc process solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8186–8197
Number of pages12
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Bimetallic particles
  • Circular economy
  • Electrodeposition
  • Precious metal
  • Redox replacement


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