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Examination of copper electrowinning smoothing agents. Part I: A review

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2016, Vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 7-13

Moats, M.S.; Luyima, A.; Cui, W.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.19150/mmp.6462


Organic smoothing additives are used to produce dense, thick, high-quality cathodes in copper electrowinning. Glue had been used traditionally and is still used in operations that do not employ solvent extraction to produce the electrowinning electrolyte. With the advent of solvent extraction–electrowinning, guar started to be used and remained in use for many years as it does not affect the phase disengagement in solvent extraction. Recently, however, guar has been replaced by less-expensive saccharide- and polyacrylamide-based additives. This paper is the first of a series of four papers that examine saccharides and polyacrylamides as new additives for copper electrowinning. A review of previous research related to copper electrowinning additives is presented here, along with a selected review of additives in other copper electrodeposition systems.