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The effects of solution impurities on the properties of nickel cathodes

Kittelty, D. and Nicol, M.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-8757-161X (2003) The effects of solution impurities on the properties of nickel cathodes. In: Hydrometallurgy 2003: Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium, 24 - 27 August, Vancouver, Canada


A fully instrumented laboratory electrowinning cell has been used to produce nickel cathodes from synthetic solutions containing various impurities in order to evaluate the effects of both metallic ions and organic reagents (from prior solvent extraction and other processes) on the quality of the electrodeposited nickel. The conditions used were typical of those employed in industrial electrowinning operations. The impurities were found to alter the crystal size and shape, induce the development of hydrogen pits on the deposit surface, incorporate as metal hydroxide crystals in the deposit, and alter the internal stress and current efficiency. These effects have been interpreted in terms of previously established relationships between the solution composition and the physical properties of the cathodes. The incorporation of the common metal impurity ions into the deposit have been interpreted in terms of a mass transport controlled reduction or precipitation reactions. In particular, a low concentration of aluminium ions resulted in an initial highly deleterious effect, which was replaced by a positive influence at higher concentrations. A model which involves the buffering effect of the aluminium on the pH at the cathode surface has been proposed.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Parker Cooperative Research Centre for Integrated Hydrometallurgy Solutions
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