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Anode Passivation

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Even with the recent technological advances, passivation of commercial copper anodes still occurs in most modern electrorefineries. Passivation is the inhibition of the dissolution reaction caused by the formation of non-dissolving films. Anode passivation results in lost production capacity, increased power costs, and decreased cathode quality. Thus, the minimization of anode passivation could ultimately improve worldwide copper quality and decrease production costs.

Passivation of commercial copper anodes is a very complex subject involving the interaction between the composition of the anode, the impurity phases within the microstructure of the anode, the electrolysis conditions and the electrorefining electrolyte. To help the reader better understand the topic of anode passivation, the follow pages have been written. These pages are intended to be read in order, but the reader can navigate as he/she chooses.

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Copper Dissolution

Passivation of Pure Copper

Passivation of Impure Copper Anodes

Secondary Phases Within the Anode

Slimes

Non-Slime Impurities

Electrolyte

 

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