A number of established techniques are available for the treatment of waste streams containing heavy and precious metals, including; precipitation, ion exchange, solvent extraction, adsorption, and cementation. All of these methods have the disadvantage of producing a secondary effluent consisting of a more concentrated metal-bearing solution or a mixed solid that requires further treatment.
C-Tech Innovation’s C-Flow 3D system uses electrochemical deposition to recover elemental metal directly from an aqueous solution, with no additional reagents. High value metals (e.g. Co, Ni) and precious metals (e.g. Pt, Ag) can be directly recycled, easily and at high purity.
Electrodeposition occurs at the cathode of an electrochemical cell, while oxygen is produced at the anode due to the oxidation of water, according to the following scheme (where M is the metal being deposited):
Cathode: M2+ + 2e– → M
Anode: H2O → ½ O2 + 2H+ + 2e–
Overall: M2+ + H2O → M + ½ O2 + 2H+
While conventional electrochemical cells relying on metal plate or mesh electrodes are limited in their performance by the low surface area, C-Flow 3D uses very high surface area carbon felt to maximise the deposition rate and to achieve much lower final solution concentrations.
C-Flow 3D is available as a self-contained laboratory scale unit, to study metal deposition from aqueous solutions. Students can study the effects of electrolyte, its flowrate, and the applied current on deposition rate, current efficiency, and cell voltage. Such parameters can be used in economic studies to minimise plant costs.
C-Flow PRD takes its form from the C-Flow PLT (pilot) system, and like its smaller brother, the ‘PRD’ (Production) system uses high through- put electrochemical cells that are superior in performance and flexibility to those available as bipolar stacks.
C-Flow PLT is a new design of electrochemical cell and plant, offering much higher capacities – four times the flow rates – than possible with current stack designs. A modular pilot plant offers a step change in flexibility and reduced development costs for use by academic and industrial R&D users.
The C-Flow LAB cell benefits from the experience built up over two decades by our Electrochemical Engineering team. All this experience has gone into the C-Flow LAB design, making it the easiest-to-use general purpose electrochemical cell you can buy. The design is patent pending. Read More
C-Flow LAB 1×1 is a hand-assembly laboratory electrochemical cell with a 10 mm x 10 mm electrode area. It has been designed for experimental work with a working volume of 1 ml of electrolyte from inlet to outlet, ideal for working with exotic or expensive solutions. Read More