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how to separate copper and nickel

separation of copper from nickel - finishing

separation of copper from nickel - finishing

I have copper plated thin Nickel sheets. How do I separate Nickel and copper most economically? The scrap value of composite is very poor while if I can separate Nickel and copper, I can get better value of scrap. The thickness of copper is about 50 microns max and Nickel is 150-178 microns. The bonding is too good to be separated mechanically.

Because the nickel is more valuable and three to four times as thick, it sounds better to strip the copper from the nickel than vice versa. But I think it will be uneconomical and wasteful of chemicals to try to chemically remove the copper. Electrolytic removal at low voltage might be more feasible. But the best use of your time still may be to keep searching for a scrap dealer or refiner who will take it the way it is.

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

separating copper from nickel by electrolysis

separating copper from nickel by electrolysis

Hi, Dragoljub. Electroplating shops routinely purify their nickel solution by "dummying out" the copper at low voltage. In principle electrolysis can be used, but how best to do it depends on your actual circumstance (volumes, ratio of nickel and copper in solution, what you will do with the copper, what you will do with the nickel, what other metals are present, what acid they are dissolved in, etc., etc.)

They will plate out as an alloy, but the voltage will determine the alloy. To plate nearly pure copper, you will need to plate at around 1 amp per square foot of cathode, which will be horribly slow. A problem that will go with it is the use of insoluble anodes will lower the pH enough so that the solution will quit plating. The addition of lye to raise the pH will precipitate some of both metals unless it is added in a dilute solution and this will dilute your chemicals to a point that they will not want to plate out normally. You may find something that will work, but expect a LOT of trial and error.

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

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