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Re: Ways to capture copper sulfate from nitric acid?


Electroplating equipment suppliers make little units that electroplate copper out of a solution. The solution is fed through the unit at a certain rate based on concentration. A DC current is applied across an anode and cathode, pulling cations to the cathode. The copper is turned into metallic form by electroplating it onto the cathode. It can be sold for the going scrap rate. It is pretty pure if there are no other major cations in the solution that would plate out with the copper, so it should command market pricing. Try www.thomasregister.com to find vendors.

The other option is ion exchange resins. This option is almost never the best option, though it is often on the list for consideration. The problem is in removing the copper from the resin, keeping it highly concentrated by minimizing rinse water (while doing an adequate job of cleaning the resin so it has maximum capacity for the next cycle), then figuring out what to do with it after it has been collected. Though the resin should last several years, it will have a finite life. Disposal then becomes a problem because of the contaminants.

Hope this is helpful.


On Jun 23, 2004, at 2:31 PM, Katz.John@epamail.epa.gov wrote:

P2Tech -

I have a request from a manufacturer about ways to remove copper sulfate
from a nitric acid cleaning solution. They do parts cleaning primarily
for the semiconductor industry. They have switched to water based
cleaners for the most part, but are installing a nitric acid cleaning
process for certain parts. The copper sulfate comes off the parts, so
they don't have any control over the copper source. If possible, they
want to capture the copper from the spent solution - either before or
after neutralizing the acid - so they can send it for recycling. Anyone
have any ideas of treatment/separation approaches that might work for
them? Thanks.

John Katz
Pollution Prevention Coordinator
US EPA Region 9
75 Hawthorne Street, WST-7
San Francisco, CA 94105
415-947-3530 (fax)

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