Description: The conventional copper electrowinning process uses the water hydrolysis reaction as the anodic source of electrons. However this reaction generates acid mist and requires large quantities of energy. In order to improve energy efficiency and avoid acid mist, an alternative anodic reaction of ferrous ion oxidation has been proposed. This reaction does not involve evolution of acid mist and can be carried out at a lower cell voltage than the conventional process. However, because ferrous ions are converted to ferric ions at the anode in this process, there is a need for reduction of ferric ions to ferrous ions to continue this process. The most promising method for this reduction is the use of hydrogen gas since the resulting byproduct acid can be used elsewhere in the process and, unlike other reductants, hydrogen does not introduce other species that need subsequent removal. Because the hydrogen reduction technology has undergone only preliminary lab scale testing, additional research is needed to evaluate its commercial potential. Two issues for this research are the potentially low mass transfer rate of hydrogen into the electrolyte stream because of its low solubility in water, and whether other gaseous reductants less expensive than hydrogen, such as natural gas or syngas, might work. In this study various reductants were investigated to carry out the reduction of ferric ions to ferrous ions using a simulated electrolyte solution recycled through a trickle bed reactor packed with catalyst. The gases tested as reductants were hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide, and a 50/50 mixture of H2 and CO. Nitrogen was also tested as an inert control. These gases were tested because they are constituents in either natural gas or syngas. The catalysts tested were palladium and platinum. Two gas flow rates and five electrolyte flow rates were tested. Pure hydrogen was an effective ...
Date: January 1, 2005
Creator: Noah, Karl S.; Bruhn, Debby F.; Wey, John E. & Cherry, Robert S.
Item Type: Refine your search to only Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department