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Homework Help: Copper electropurification

  1. Sep 18, 2006 #1
    Hi all,

    I know in copper mining industries copper which is at 99% pure ( Blister copper ) which is electropurified to 99.99% by simple electrochemical cell consist of copper sulfate as electrolyte bath along some sulfuric acid in it.
    My question is it possible to do this same process say for eg to electropurify a alloy of copper + other metals in which copper will be 50 to 90 % of composition to get pure copper from copper alloy by electropurification possible . Pls advice

    If possible can pls elaborate optimium current density for such process to be economical at large scale (Also helpful if advice any commerical avaliable electrolytic cells for large scale operations ) i need to electropurify a copper alloy with 50 to 90% copper to get pure copper 99.99% . pls help me with as much as details possible. Good lucks to all
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2006 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    As far as I know, metal 'alloys' are prepared by melting. If one wants ultrapure metal (alloy), it would be melting in a vacuum (Vacuum arc melting) and usually triple melted, i.e. 3 successive meltings. One would start with metals as pure as possible.

    Electrolytic refining is a problem because each element has a different reduction/oxidation potential, and that would be difficult to control. For two elements, and even more so as the number of alloy consituents increase.
  4. Sep 19, 2006 #3
    Its not about preparation of alloys

    Hi Astronuc,

    Thanks for a answer. My actual question is not regarding preparation of ultrapure alloy's but its about electrolytic refining of alloy into constituent metals.

    If electrolytic refining of alloy ie. blister copper to pure copper is if problem why its employed commerical and as economically feasable operation , so pls let me know is such same process can be employed with say 50% copper alloy to pure copper
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