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Publication numberUS1251511 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 1, 1918
Filing dateAug 14, 1917
Priority dateAug 14, 1917
Publication numberUS 1251511 A, US 1251511A, US-A-1251511, US1251511 A, US1251511A
InventorsGeorge A Guess
Original AssigneeGeorge A Guess
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Process of electrolytically separating nickel from copper.
US 1251511 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)



1,251,51 1. Patented Jan. 1, 191&




Specification of Letters Patent.

' Patented Jan. 1, 1918.'

Application filed August 14, 1917. Serial No. 186.147.

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, GEouGE A. GUEss, of the town of Oakville, in the county of Halton, Province of Ontario, Canada, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Processes of Electrolytically Separating Nickel from Copper, of which the following is a specification.

In the electrolytic recovery of nickel and copper from copper-nickel ores, the use of anodes of copper-nickel in electrolyte of nickel sulfate and the plating out of the nickel on a nickel cathode is a process well known in the art of metallurgy, but in carrying out such a process many refinements ha ve to be introduced to prevent the copper being re-deposited with the nickel. These special features introduce complications and expense which it is the object of my invention to avoid.

I attain my object by means which may be briefly described as follows. A substantially insoluble reagent is employed which will react with copper sulfate to form an insoluble copper compound and, preferably, an ins0l uble sulfate or a sulfate the presence of which in the electrolyte is not prejudicial. The insoluble re-agent is used to form in effect a screen or filter between the anode a'nd cathode to intercept and precipitate the copper and thus prevent it depositing on the cathode. Suitable porous screening means are provided to prevent the re-agent contacting with the cathode.

The process is carried out in detail substantially as hereinafter more particularly described and by means of apparatus constructed in principle along the lines illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which Figure 1 is a diagrammatical vertical section of one form of the apparatus; and

Fig. 2 a similar view of a modification.

In the drawings like numerals of reference indicate corresponding parts in the diflerent figures.

Referring particularly to Fig. 1, 1 is the electrolytic cell. 2 the anode, 3 the cathode and 4 the electrolyte. In the electrolyte I suspend pulverized calcium carbonate, which is maintained in suspension by any suitable means of agitation. The electrolyte also is preferably hcutcd to a temperature of between sixty to eighty degrees centigrado. 'lhc cathode i shielded from contact with the calcium carbonate by means of a porous cell In the form of apparatus shown in Fig. 2, the calcium carbonate may be in larger pieces and is maintained in contact with the anode by being placed in a porous cell of any suitable material surrounding the anode. In each form, while the reagent employed is present in the electrolyte, it is in Contact only with the anode and the cathode is screened from contact with such re-agent. lVhen electrolysis is carried on in apparatus such as described, the anode being of copper-nickel, the copper dissolved from the anode is precipitated in insoluble form as carbonate or hydroxid, and nickel only is plated on the cathode. The calcium of the calcium carbonate is precipitated as insoluble calcium sulfate.

It is essential to the carrying out of my process to employ a reagent which will precipitate the copper in an insoluble form and which will result in the formation of a sulfate whose presence in the electrolyte in either solid form or in solution is not detrimental to the process.

Bearing this in mind it will be readily understood that carbonates of the other alkaline earths would satisfactorily serve my purposes; so also lime will be found to be an equivalent for the calcium carbonate, or limestone, which is the most satisfactory reagent I have employed owing to its cheapness and the insoluble character of the sulfate formed. Nickel carbonate might also be employed as a substitute for the calcium carbonate. In this case, the nickel sulfate formed during the reaction enters into the electrolyte and becomes elect-rolyzed during the process.

\Vhat I claim as my invention is 1. A process of electrolyzing a nickel sulfate solution with the use of a copper-nickel anode which consists in employing in the electrolyte a substantially insoluble re-agent capable of forming with copper an insoluble compound and a sulfate whose presence in the electrolyte is not detrimental, while screening the cathode from contact with such re-ag'ent.

L. A process of clcctrolyzing a nickel sulfate solution with the lhc lf u copper-nickel anode which consisb in employing in tho clcclrolytc inicrpo ing bclwccn thianode and cathode an inSolnblc culbin'iate of a lll) metal whose sulfate when fOllllQtl in the electrolyte is not detrimental, while SCHOH- ing the cathode from contact with Sitltl calbonate.

3. A process of electrolyzing a nickel sult'ate solution with the use of a copper-nickel anode which consists in maintaining in contact with the anode a substantially insoluble i'e-ag'ent capable of forming with copper an insoluble compound and a eult'ate whose presence in the electrolyte is not detrimental, while screening. the cathode from contact with such i'e-agent.

4. A process of electrolyzing a nickel stilt'ate solution with the use of a copper-nickel anotle. which eonhists in interposing between the anode and. cathode carbonate of calcium, while screening the cathotle from contact with said carbonate.

Signed at ()akville, Ontario, this lth day :0

of August, 1917.


Witnesses IRENE 1C. VANDIN, lV. A. Clusnomt.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3432410 *Nov 27, 1964Mar 11, 1969Nickel LeMethod of producing pure nickel by electrolytic refining
US4064022 *Dec 1, 1975Dec 20, 1977Motoo KawasakiMethod of recovering metals from sludges
US4302304 *Jul 31, 1979Nov 24, 1981Mitsubishi Jukogyo Kabushiki KaishaProcess for treating electrolytic solution
U.S. Classification205/588, 204/252
Cooperative ClassificationC25C1/08