Determination of the potential gold electrowinning from an amoniacal thiosulphate solution applied to recycling of printed circuit board scraps

Autores UPV
Revista Waste Management & Research


The use of electrochemical techniques in the selective recovery of gold from a solution containing thiosulphate, ammonia, and copper, obtained from the leaching of printed circuit boards from mobile phones using amoniacal thiosulphate, are shown in this work. First, cyclic voltammetry tests were performed to determine the potential of electrodeposition of gold and copper, and then, electrowinning tests at different potentials for checking the rates of recovery of these metals were performed. The results of the cyclic voltammetry show that copper deposition occurs at potentials more negative than −600 mV (Ag/AgCl), whereas the gold deposition can be performed at potentials more positives than −600 mV (Ag/AgCl). The results of electrowinning show that 99% of the gold present in solutions containing thiosulphate and copper can be selectively recovered in a potential range between −400 mV (vs Ag/AgCl) and −500 mV (vs Ag/AgCl). Furthermore, 99% of copper can be recovered in potentials more negative than −700 mV (vs Ag/AgCl).