Sustainable electrochemical regeneration of copper-loaded ion exchange media

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2 Scopus citations


An electrochemical method for regenerating copper-loaded ion exchange media was investigated. The method involved circulating a moderate pH regenerant solution between a bed of ion exchange media and an electrochemical cell. The electrochemical regeneration process eliminates more than 99% of the acid and base use associated with conventional regeneration, consumes no water, produces metallic copper, and eliminates the production of a copper-laden sludge. Experiments were performed measuring copper plating rates as a function of the aqueous copper concentration, cell current, and flow rate. Experiments were also performed to determine the equilibrium partitioning of copper ions between the solution and the ion exchange media under loading and regeneration conditions. A mathematical model was developed and calibrated using experimental data, to provide guidance for the design of electrochemical ion exchange regeneration systems. The model incorporates the plating kinetics, the stripping of copper from the resin, and the equilibrium isotherm and predicts aqueous and adsorbed copper concentrations during the regeneration process. The model indicates that, in 789 min, 90% of copper can be removed from a resin loaded with 50 mg(Cu)/g(resin). An economic analysis indicates that energy costs for plating are less than 1% of chemical costs for conventional ion exchange regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13259-13267
Number of pages9
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number40
StatePublished - Oct 10 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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