Valorisation of sulphate rich effluents by electrodialysis

Juan Patricio Ibáñez, Ana Vásquez, Álvaro Aracena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As part of a route for the valorisation of liquid effluents from copper metallurgical plants, the recovery and generation of sulphuric acid using electrodialysis from synthetic sulphate-rich solutions, similar to those of copper electrometallurgy, was investigated. Sulphate-bearing solution, having sulphuric acid ranging from 45 to 180 g/L and copper from 0 to 40 g/L, and having impurities of Co (0.2 g/L) and Fe (3.0 g/L), were electrodialysed at various current densities at several temperatures. A recovery of sulphuric acid of 0.5 kg/h/m2 was obtained at 300 A/m2 and 55°C, with a final concentration of 216 g/L of high purity H2SO4 with a SEC of 1.95 kWh/kg. Electrodialysis at 700 A/m2 resulted in an acid rate recovery of 1.5 kg/h/m2, with a final concentration of 328 g/L, and a SEC of 2.46 kWh/kg. The mass transport of metal ions and the effect of solution’s viscosity on acid recovery are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCanadian Metallurgical Quarterly
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Acidic effluent valorisation
  • Current density
  • Electrodialysis
  • Electrolyte viscosity
  • Recovery of sulphuric acid
  • Specific energy consumption
  • Transport of metal ions


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