Anion exchange separations to produce a suitable electrolyte for the electrodeposition of pure zinc




anion exchange, spent pickling liquor, zinc separation, chloride solutions


Anion exchange separations have been devised to purify model solutions of the usual pickling liquor (SPL) obtained from hot dip galvanization to produce a suitable ZnCl2 electrolyte for electrodepositing pure Zn. The method was based on the established anion-exchange distribution functions in chloride media. Both the simple batch and the more accurate chromatographic methods of separation were examined. The loaded solutions contained Zn, Fe, Mn, Ni and Pb of different concentrations with 1.8 - 2 M NaCl or HCl as the background. The resin bed primarily retained Zn while divalent Fe, Mn and Ni were removed in the loading and the continued rinsing steps with the mobile phase at the initial level of Cl- ion concentration. The elution of Zn was carried out by a significantly reduced Cl- ion concentration. The preliminary reduction of the iron to its divalent state was found of utmost importance. The only difficulty arises from the separation of Pb, which has an equilibrium distribution function comparable to the anion exchange of Zn, however in Europe this minor impurity should not be present at disturbing levels. Kinetic examination of the batch process revealed that Zn sorption is virtually complete within 20 minutes, however despite the low distribution coefficients, some 10 % of iron is also sorbed. Almost 90 % of the retained iron could be in the Fe(III) state caused by aerial oxidation. It was also found that the elution of Zn in the batch technique was not possible by just lowering the Cl- ion concentration. Therefore, the chromatographic method is the only possible way if only chloride media are to be applied.