Survey of Supporting Electrolyte Compositions for Copper Molten Sulfide Electrolysis
Updated: Mar 20, 2019
Allanore Research Group at MIT
Position: Undergraduate Researcher (UROP)
January 2017 — May 2017
The objective of this research was to develop a high throughput system of characterizing suitable electrolyte compositions for copper electrolysis starting from pure chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) and then expanding to natural copper ore containing aluminosilicates. The interaction of feed materials with Barium Sulfide supporting electrolyte was studied. Several physicochemical properties of interest were measured, including the partition coefficient of copper and iron into the slag and matte phases, the mass loss (volatility) of these mixtures, and compound formation upon quenching.
Techniques that were integral to this study were SEM, EDS/WDS, XRD, and optical microscopy.