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Improving Productivity and Energy Efficiency in Copper Electrowinning Plants

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3 Author(s)
Wiechmann, E.P. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Univ. of Concepcion, Concepcion, Chile ; Morales, A.S. ; Aqueveque, P.

This paper presents strategies to improve energy efficiency and productivity in copper electrowinning (EW) plants. Plant modeling is based on updated technical data and specific measurements obtained in a tankhouse during a complete production cycle (four to five continuous days). The industrial EW plant site examined produces 180 000 ton/year with an operating current density of 300 A/m2 and a current dispersion of 8.5%. Proposals are based on the use of Optibar intercell bars and the reduction of distance between electrodes. Due to these changes, an improvement of +4.3% in energy efficiency combined with an increase of +3.4% in production can be accomplished. The productivity improvement projected for the plant is U.S.$ 10 million/year.

Published in:

Industry Applications, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

July-Aug. 2010

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