An experimental study of the design of an electrochemical ion exchange cell
Electrochemical Ion Exchange (EIX) was studied to determine the viability of the process for treatment of metal bearing effluents containing Cu, Zn and Ni. Other metals used during the investigation were Na and Cs. The EIX process was examined at the laboratory scale and later in a pilot plant. Process performance and cell design were evaluated both in absorption and regeneration cycles. A mathematical representation of the system was developed based on the Nemst-Planck equation. Zirconium phosphate, Purolite S930 , Purolite S950 and Purolite PrAOH were the ion exchangers used during the study. The EIX cell was made of two perspex blocks, each 490 mm by 125 mm and 20 mm thick. Each block contained a half cell made up of an EIX electrode and a counter electrode on either side of a heterogeneous ion exchange membrane with dimensions of 280 mm by 63 mrn by 5 mm. The EIX electrode consisted of a platinised titanium mesh, acting as a current feeder, embedded in the membrane. The counter electrode was a platinised titanium mesh placed on the opposite side to the current feeder. The process was operated by applying a potential across the membrane.