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Application of a Three-Dimensional Electrode to the Electrochemical Removal of Copper and Zinc Ions from Diluted Solutions

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Electrochemical removal of copper and zinc ions from synthetic solutions simulating drainage water flowing from abandoned mines was studied. A three-dimensional cathode was suitable for this purpose. Use of graphite felt electrodes in deoxygenated solution reduced the copper concentration in the solution from 150 to less than 0.05 mg/cubic decimeter (dm3) with a current efficiency of 68%. For successful zinc removal, it was necessary to increase the pH of the solution to values ≥10 to suppress the parasitic hydrogen evolution reaction. At these conditions, the zinc concentration in the solution could be reduced from 200 to 1.1 mg/dm3 with a current efficiency of 65%. Using a stainless steel wool cathode under identical conditions, a comparable current efficiency was achieved, but the outlet concentration of heavy metal ions increased to 22.1 mg/dm3.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2000

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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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