The optimum electrolyte parameters in the application of high current density silver electrorefining

Arif T. Aji, Jari Aromaa, Mari Lundström*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Increasing silver production rate has been a challenge for the existing refining facilities. The application of high current density (HCD) as one of the possible solutions to increase the process throughput is also expected to reduce both energy consumption and process inventory. From the recently-developed models of silver electrorefining, this study simulated the optimum electrolyte parameters to optimize the specific energy consumption (SEC) and the silver inventory in the electrolyte for an HCD application. It was found that by using [Cu2+] in electrolyte, both objectives can be achieved. The suggested optimum composition range from this study was [Ag+] 100–150 g/dm3, [HNO3] 5 g/dm3, and [Cu2+] 50–75 g/dm3. HCD application (1000 A/m2) in these electrolyte conditions result in cell voltage of 2.7–3.2 V and SEC of 0.60–1.01 kWh/kg, with silver inventory in electrolyte of 26–39 kg silver for 100 kg per day basis. The corresponding figures for the conventional process were 1.5–2.8 V, 0.44–0.76 kWh/kg, and 15.54–194.25 kg, in respective order. These results show that, while HCD increases SEC by app. 30%, the improvement provides a significant smaller footprint as a result of a more compact of process. Thus, applying HCD in silver electrorefining offers the best solution in increasing production capacity and process efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1596
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalMetals
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Energy consumption
  • High current density
  • Silver electrorefining

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