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Use of a hydrogen-diffusion electrode in the electrochemical removal of lead from effluents of lead electrowinning processes

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An electrochemical process for the removal of lead using a three-dimensional carbon-felt cathode and a hydrogen-diffusion anode has been developed. The process is able to cope with effluents coming from lead electrowinning processes in fluoroborate baths after the lead has been electrolytically removed to approximately 100 mg/L (100 ppm). The lead deposit can be removed from carbon-felt electrodes by chemical or electrochemical stripping, yielding a lead-containing solution that can be reused in the electrowinning process. The use of a hydrogen-diffusion electrode (HDE) significantly decreases the cost of the process in comparison with that of a dimensionally stable anode (DSA). For a current density of 10 mA/cm2, the energy used for treating a solution containing 120 mg/L (120 ppm) of lead is approximately 990 kJ/m3 (275 W h/m3) when a DSA is used, but only 166 kJ/m3 (46 W h/m3) when an HDE anode is used. Approximately 75% of the hydrogen needed for the HDE anode can be partially supplied by the hydrogen evolved at the cathode during lead deposition. The cathodic reaction has a current efficiency of 25%. The required electrodic area for the removal process is l.5 m2/m3 · h for an effluent containing 120 mg/L (120 ppm) of lead.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1998-05-01

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    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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