Electrolysis of copper. Image credit 180daysofteaching.wordpress.com

Electrolysis of copper. Image credit 180daysofteaching.wordpress.com

ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes:Purification of copper using electrolysis

  • The impure copper (blister copper) yielded from the converter
  • Is then molded into thick sheets
  • These sheets become positive plates i.e.
  • they are connected on the positive side of a electrolytic cell
  • The positive side are also known as anodes in an electrolytic cell
  • A thin sheet if very pure copper is used as the cathode
  • This is the negative side of the electrolytic cell
  • The electrolyte (liquid) is copper sulphate solution
  • A current is then passed through the cell
  • Copper is transferred from the anode to the cathode
  • Insoluble impurities from the anode form a sludge at the bottom of the cell
  • Precious minerals such as gold and silver can be recovered from the sludge

To access more topics go to the Combined Science Notes page.


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