Deposition of Nickel-Cobalt Alloys by Controlled-Potential Electrolysis
Description:The Bureau of Mines is conducting research to improve technology for the recovery of strategic and critical metals, such as cobalt, nickel, and chromium, that are lost in bulk and particulate superalloy-type scrap because it has not been possible to process mixed contaminated scrap efficiently. The research approach involves melting and casting mixed superalloy scrap into soluble anodes for electrodeposition of Ni-Co alloys by controlled-potential electrolysis. The initial experimental results described in this report are from electrolytic tests us-ing alloy anodes cast from elemental nickel, cobalt, and chromium, the main constituent metals of superalloys. Baseline data and operating parameters are necessary for Ni-Co and Ni-Co-Cr alloys before detailed experiments can be conducted on the more complex superalloy scrap. This basic research assessed the effects of cathode potential, S04:CI electrolyte ratio, electrolyte pH, stirring rate, deposition time, cathode current density, and chromium concentration on cathode current efficiency, alloy deposit composition, and deposition potential at a cell temperature of 55° C.
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