Copper Recovery from Printed Circuit Boards Using Acidic Ferric Chloride Leaching and Electrodeposition


In this work, 0.5 mol L−1 HCl and 0.13 mol L−1 FeCl3 have been used as leaching solution of industrially wasted copper at room temperature. Copper recovery from the leaching solution has been studied by batch electrodeposition at room temperature and either by using different constant current densities or by pulsing the current. The deposits obtained at 20 mA cm−2 show low efficiencies and are mainly composed of Cu0 with CuCl being a minor component. When the deposits are obtained at 50 mA cm−2, the efficiency is higher, but the adherence is poor and the porosity is high. By using pulsed electrodeposition, it is possible to improve the adherence of the deposits. However, the deposits are contaminated with copper and iron oxides, as well as with chloride compounds. Tin was not detected in any of the deposits obtained using all the electrodeposition conditions tested in this work.

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This work has been supported by the following institutions in Argentina: University of Mar del Plata (Grant 15/G351), National Research Council (CONICET, PIP0661) and Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (PICT 0972/15).

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Correspondence to M. B. Valcarce.

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Masari, F., Ceré, S. & Valcarce, M.B. Copper Recovery from Printed Circuit Boards Using Acidic Ferric Chloride Leaching and Electrodeposition. JOM (2020).

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