Removal of copper ions from dilute sulfuric acid solutions: Effect of solution composition and applied potential

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Mining & Metallurgical Engineering Department, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

2 Department of Chemistry, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

3 Department of Biology, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran


Removal of copper from synthesized and real dilute sulfuric acid solutions was investigated. Effects of copper, iron concentrations and applied potential were studied. In pure copper solutions, increasing the Cu2+ concentration from 1000 to 5000 mg.L-1 increased the copper recovery from about 30-300% depending on the cathode potential and decreased the energy consumption by about 30%. Also, with increasing the acid concentration from 15 to 50 g.L-1 an about 25% increase in copper recovery and a 30% decrease in energy consumption were observed. The addition of Fe2+ to the solution improved the ionic conductivity and so that the copper recovery. The specified energy consumption for the real leaching solutions increased to 31-47 The diffusion coefficients for several synthesized and real copper electrowinning electrolytes were determined. Moreover, the maximum value of the diffusion coefficient (D) was obtained 2.27*10-4 cm2.s-1 for the pure copper solution at a concentration of 1000 mg.L-1 Cu2+ which was higher than impure and real solutions.