Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 12, pp 11958–11969 | Cite as

Influence of Mn2+ ions on the corrosion mechanism of lead-based anodes and the generation of heavy metal anode slime in zinc sulfate electrolyte

  • Chenmu Zhang
  • Ning Duan
  • Linhua Jiang
  • Fuyuan Xu
  • Jin Luo
Research Article


The influence of Mn2+ ions on the generation of heavy metal anode slime during zinc electrolysis industry was extensively investigated using several electrochemical methods, electron microscope technologies, and particle size analysis. Results showed that the Mn2+ could obviously promote oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and thereby weaken oxidation efficiency of Mn2+ (ηMnO2) and dissolution of Pb2+. The significant improvement in kinetic parameters for OER was found in electrolytes of 1 and 3 g/L Mn2+, but became unstable as the Mn2+ concentration increased to 10 g/L. This result was correlated with much different properties of oxide layers that its changes of microstructure are involved in, since it confirmed that the positive role of compact oxide layers in contributing to high corrosion resistance and activity for OER, but excessive Mn2+, resulted in its micromorphology of overthickness and instability. Such differences resulted from the effect of the Mn2+ concentration fluctuation on kinetic rates of the nucleation growth process. The formation and adsorption of intermediate MnO2–OHads identified as the controlled step for Mn2+ catalyzing OER was also recommended. The generation mechanism of anode slime was found to be changed in essence due to varying Mn2+ concentrations. In electrolyte of 1 g/L Mn2+, results revealed that the root cause of excessive small suspended anode slime (around 20 μm) was the change of the initial pathway of Mn2+ electro-oxidation, whereas, it showed great improvement in the settling performance as the Mn2+ concentration was increased to 10 g/L. Considering the potential of optimizing Mn2+ concentrations as a cleaner approach to control anode slime, deepening the understanding of the impact mechanism of Mn2+ can provide new insights into intervention in the generation of anode slime.


Oxygen evolution reaction Heavy metal Anode slime Cleaner approach 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFC0210402), National Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment (2017ZX07402004), Natural Science Foundation of China (51304178, 41673114), and the Central Level, Scientific Research Institutes for Basic R&D Special Fund Business (Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, 2016YSKY034, 2016YSKY-015), and by Funds of State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment (SKLECRA201754).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Materials Science and EngineeringBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina
  2. 2.Technology Center for Heavy Metal Cleaner Production EngineeringChinese Research Academy of Environmental SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of EnvironmentTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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