Dipl.-Ing. Vrauke Heinze, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Stelter
During copper electrorefining fluctuations in concentrations of the main components copper, nickel
and arsenic arise as well as variations in the sulfuric acid concentration. Especially during the time
intervals of cathode and anode changes decreases in temperature may be observed. These parameters
directly influence the physical and chemical properties of copper electrolytes. For instance a decrease
in temperature leading to a decrease in electrical conductivity will immediately contribute to an inferior
current efficiency thus increasing the production costs per ton of copper.
The present investigation is aimed to complete existing data of the most important parameters of copper
electrolytes containing various amounts of copper, nickel, arsenic and sulfuric acid. The relatively wide
ranges of component concentrations were chosen in dependence on typical technical values. Further tests
focus on the occurrence of interaction of the parameters and effects of different additives. This work presents
experimental data of electrical conductivity, density and dynamic viscosity obtained for the quaternary
aqueous system CuSO4 – H2SO4 – NiSO4 – As2O3 at temperatures in the range of 20 to 80 °C.
The influence of temperature, electrolyte composition and additive concentrations on physical properties of copper electrolytes