Refining of Metals

Figure –
Electrolytic refining of copper. The
electrolyte is a solution of acidified copper
sulphate. The anode is impure copper,
whereas, the cathode is a strip of pure
copper. On passing electric current, pure
copper is deposited on the cathode.

Refining of Metals
The metals produced by various reduction processes described above are not very pure. They contain impurities, which must be removed to obtain pure metals.
The most widely used method for refining impure metals is electrolytic refining.
Electrolytic Refining: Many metals, such as copper, zinc, tin, nickel, silver, gold, etc., are refined electrolytically. In this process, the impure metal is made the anode and a thin strip of pure metal is made the cathode. A solution of the metal salt is used as an electrolyte. On passing the current through the electrolyte, the pure metal from the anode
dissolves into the electrolyte. An equivalent amount of pure metal from the electrolyte is deposited on the cathode. The soluble impurities go into the solution, whereas, the insoluble impurities settle down at the bottom of the anode and are known as anode mud.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.