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Does Chromesteel disolve during copper-electrlysis with Coppersulfate? Answered

Hi

I want to refine some copper and change it to copper-dust-particles by means of copper-electrolsis in a bath of disolved coppersulfate.
Since my copper is in smaller bits id like to have some sort of etallic basket to hold the scraps.
I think i would like to go with a chromesteel-mesh i connect to the power. The mesh/basket contains my scrap-copper and the anode-sludge can pass thru the basket...
The basket (anode) and the copper-cathode are connected to the powersupply.

Now my question: I think the chromesteel shouldnt get disolved as long as i dont crank up the voltage too high or let it run without sacrificial copper at the cathode. If i would do that, it would start to split the water used in the solution and produce H and O. Bad. Also would slowly eat away the metals too. Bad^2
But as long as i have copper to be disolved at the cathode, it shouldnt do anything to my chrome-steel-basket, right?

Thanks for inputs from someone who knows it better than i do :)

Discussions

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Kiteman

5 years ago

Why not wire it the other way around? Put the impure copper inside the basket, let the pure stuff build up inside the basket:

Screenshot_2014-04-09-15-30-47-1.png
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OrngrimmKiteman

Reply 5 years ago

Goood idea, but since i want to harvest the copper-dust a basket is not the best cathode... Too difficult to get it all out...

Also: Dont i need copper as inital-metal as cathode? Would copper deposit on steel?

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KitemanOrngrimm

Reply 5 years ago

The copper will deposit wherever the ions are neutralised - it will plate onto any conductor that donates electrons.

Here's a thought for harvesting; line your vessel with a filter, such as a coffee paper or a piece of muslin fabric. You can do your electrolysis, lift out the electrodes, then lift out the filter to contain the solid copper whilst leaving the electrolyte behind.

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OrngrimmKiteman

Reply 5 years ago

Problem is still that i dont have a solid piece of sacrificial copper but many scrap-pieces. Tiny ones like 1cm long wire-cuttings...

Thats why i wanted to use a basked of chromesteel (which is connected to the PSU) where i can put the scrap-copper in and dont have to individualy connect them to the PSU.

So the initial question still stands: If i use a chromesteel-basket (connected to the PSU) loaded with copper-scraps, would the basked slowly disolve alongside or instead of the copper?

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KitemanOrngrimm

Reply 5 years ago

Ah...

I have it! Put all the pieces in a porous bag, like a teabag, and feed in a lead from your power supply. The ions are soluble, and will easily migrate through the bag to the other electrode.

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OrngrimmKiteman

Reply 5 years ago

Than you for your ideas about the mechanical setup...
But the initial question STILL stands.

Let me rephrase it:
If i have 3 bars with a total of 2 different metals (Copper as Cathode, Chromesteel and Copper as Anode) in a bath with disolved Coppersulfide and run a equal current thru both anodes.... The copper at the anode would be transfered (over ionic transportation) to the Cathode. But what happens with the chromesteel-Anode? Would it also be attacked and loose Iron/Chrome-Ions to the solution?
THATS the question. Not about how to mechanically set it up nor how hight the current and voltage has to be. :) It is a question about electrochemical potentials and ionic soluablity.

I know that copper is less noble (Electrochemically) than chromesteel and we have no iron- nor Chrome-salts in solution. So i think the chromesteel should be rather save as long as we dont apply a voltage bigger than the the minimum neded for the copper to go into an ionic solution. That would be north of a potential-differential of about 0.15-0.2V. Chromesteel should be north of around 6V. So all voltages 0.2-6.0V should be fine and not attack the chromesteel.

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KitemanOrngrimm

Reply 5 years ago

I think you've answered your own question...

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OrngrimmKiteman

Reply 5 years ago

Well.... Thats the problem: I THINK i know the answer, but i dont know it for sure... :)

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Orngrimm

5 years ago

"But as long as i have copper to be disolved at the cathode," should be ANODE not cathode... Silly me :)