Settling properties of copper electrorefining anode slimes

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperScientificpeer-review


The settling properties of anode slime in copper electrorefining have crucial effect on copper cathode quality. Anode slime settling is affected by electrolyte composition and temperature, electrolyte circulation, and the sizes and density of the slime particles and agglomerates. Typically, the industrial copper electrolytes contain 40–60 g/dm3 Cu2+, 130–220 g/dm3 H2SO4, 0.04–25 g/dm3 Ni2+, 0.005–30 g/dm3 As, and have operating temperature of 55–70°C. In optimal electrorefining process, the settling rate of anode slime is sufficiently high to avoid the risk of getting the slime entrapped in copper cathodes. In this research the settling properties of copper electrorefining bottom slimes, mainly consisting of Cu, Ni, Ag, Se, Pb, As, Bi, Sb and Ba compounds, were studied by settling rate tests. The tests were conducted in water and synthetic electrolytes with known viscosities and densities. In addition, the effect of agglomeration was taken into account – it was observed that breaking the agglomerates which existed in the as-received slimes decreased the particle sizes on average 56–73%, which decreased the settling rate. The results of this study provide detailed information of anode slime settling and thus clarify the conditions causing cathode contamination risks in copper electrorefining.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2019
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventCopper - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 18 Aug 201921 Aug 2019




  • Anode slime
  • Copper electrorefining
  • Density
  • Particle size
  • Viscosity


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