The behavior of antimony and oxygen during copper electrorefining has been investigated. The mechanism of slime formation has been revealed on the basis of the form of anode slime and the dissolution state of anode surface after electrolysis. The effect of dissolved oxygen in the electrolyte was emphasized. The major part of antimony was homogeneously distributed in the copper matrix and the excessive part was segregated as Sb2O3 particles along the grain boundary. The anode antimony was then dissolved as Sb3+ ions into the electrolyte during electrolysis and these ions produced concurrently anode slime on the anode surface when the concentration of Sb3+ ions exceeded its saturation level. This anode slime caused anode passivation. The passivation was accelerated with increasing the concentration of Sb, the Sb3+ ions and the dissolved oxygen in electrolyte. On the electrolysis of a copper anode containing antimony, arsenic and oxygen, the resulting slime composition was, in the large part of Cu3As, As2O3 and Sb2O3 in the small part. Antimony, arsenic, copper and oxygen could not be detected.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 1988|
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