Models for viscosity and density of copper electrorefining electrolytes

T. Kalliomaki, A.T. Aji, L. Rintala, J. Aromaa, M. Lundstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Viscosity and density of copper electrorefining electrolytes affect energy consumption and purity of cathode copper. Decreasing the viscosity and density increases the rate of falling of the anode slimes to the bottom of an electrorefining cell and increases the diffusivity and mobility of ions. Increasing the falling rate of the anode slimes decreases a risk of anode slime impurities ending up on the cathode and being entrapped into the copper deposit. This work introduces two new models for both viscosity and density of copper electrorefining electrolytes with high accuracy and one reconstructed improved model for some electrorefining data of viscosity published previously. The experimental work to build up these new models was carried out as a function of temperature (50, 60, 70 °C), copper (40, 50, 60 g/dm 3), nickel (0, 10, 20 g/dm 3) and sulfuric acid (130, 145, 160 g/dm 3) concentrations for all models, and additionally arsenic concentration (0, 15, 30, 32, 64 g/dm 3) was included in the viscosity models. Increasing concentrations of Cu, Ni, As and H 2SO 4 were found to increase the viscosity and density, whereas increasing temperature decreased both viscosity and density. The viscosity models were validated with industrial electrolyte samples from the Boliden Harjavalta Pori tankhouse. The experimental and modeling work carried out in this study resulted in improved viscosity models, having the strongest agreement with the industrial electrorefining electrolytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1037
Number of pages15
JournalPhysicochemical Problems of Mineral Processing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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