Update on Recovering Lead From Scrap Batteries
Previous work at the Bureau of Mines Rolla Research Center, U.S. Department of the Interior, resulted in successful development of a bench-scale, combination electrorefining-electrowinning method for recycling lead from scrap batteries by using waste fluosilicic acid (H2SiF6) as electrolyte.1,2 This paper describes larger scale experiments. Prior attempts to electrowin lead failed because large quantities of insoluble lead dioxide were deposited on the anodes at the expense of lead deposition on the cathodes. A major breakthrough was achieved with the discovery that lead dioxide formation at the anodes is prevented by adding a small amount of phosphorus to the electrolyte. The amount of PbO2 formed on the anodes during lead electrowinning was less than 1% of the total lead deposited on the cathodes. This work recently won the prestigious IR·100 award as one of the 100 most significant technological advances of 1984.
KeywordsSludge SiF4 Lead Dioxide Lead Powder Lead Deposit
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.E. R. Cole, A. Y. Lee, and D. L. Paulson, “Electrolytic Method for Recovery of Lead From Scrap Batteries,” U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, Report of Investigations 8602, (1981).Google Scholar
- 2.E. R. Cole, A. Y. Lee, and D. L. Paulson, “Recovery of Lead From Battery Sludge by Electrowinning,” Journal of Metals, 35(8), (1983), pp. 42–46.Google Scholar
- 3.T. A. Phillips, “Preliminary Economic and Technical Evaluation of an Electrolytic Process to Recovery Lead From Scrap Batteries,” BuMines, Nov. 1981, 23 pp. Available for consultation at the Rolla Research Center, Bureau of Mines, Rolla, Mo.Google Scholar
- 4.L. L. Smith, R. G. Sandberg, and E. R. Cole, U. S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Patent No. 4,159,231, June 16, 1979.Google Scholar
- 5.A. Y. Lee, E. R. Cole, Jr., and D. L. Paulson, “Electrolytic Method for Recovery of Lead From Scrap Batteries: Scale-Up Study Using 20-Liter Multielectrode Cell,” U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, Report of Investigations 8857, (1984).Google Scholar
- 6.A. Y. Lee, E. R. Cole, Jr., and D. L. Paulson, “Electrorefining Missouri Low-Antimony Lead Bullion,” U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, Report of Investigations 8401, (1979).Google Scholar
- 7.D. L. Thomas, C. J. Krauss, and R. C. Kerby, “Betts Lead Electrorefining at Cominco,” TMS paper selection A81-8.Google Scholar
- 8.R. G. Prengaman and H. B. McDonald, RSR Corporation, U.S. Patent No. 4,230,545, October 28, 1980.Google Scholar
- 9.J. B. Weaver and H. C, Bauman, “Cost and Profitability Estimation,” in Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook, ed. by R. H. Perry and C. H. Chilton, McGraw-Hill, 5th ed., 1973, pp. 25-45.Google Scholar