Production of ultrafine zinc powder from wastes containing zinc by electrowinning in alkaline solution

Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering. 2013;30(4):857-864 DOI 10.1590/S0104-66322013000400017


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Journal Title: Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering

ISSN: 0104-6632 (Print); 1678-4383 (Online)

Publisher: Brazilian Society of Chemical Engineering

LCC Subject Category: Technology: Chemical technology: Chemical engineering

Country of publisher: Brazil

Language of fulltext: English

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Zhao Youcai (Tongji University)
Li Qiang (Tongji University)
Zhang Chenglong (Shanghai Second Polytechnic University)
Jiang Jiachao (China University Of Mining And Technology)


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Time From Submission to Publication: 12 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Production of ultrafine zinc powder from industrial wastes by electrowinning in alkaline solution was studied. Stainless steel and magnesium electrodes were used as anode and cathode, respectively. Morphology, size distribution and composition of the Zn particles were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy, Laser Particle Size Analyzer, and Inductive Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometer. The required composition of the electrolyte for ultrafine particles was found to be 25-35 g/L Zn, 200-220 g/L NaOH and 20-40 mg/L Pb. The optimal conditions were a current density of 1000-1200 A/m² and an electrolyte temperature of 30-40 °C. The results indicated that the lead additive exerted a beneficial effect on the refining of the particles, by increasing the cathodic polarization. Through this study, ultrafine zinc powder with a size distribution of around 10 μm could be produced, and considerably high current efficiencies (97-99 %) were obtained.