Title of Invention


Abstract A cetylpyridinium salt, cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) is used as a hydrogen evolution inhibitor (a current efficiency improver) in a commercial zine electrowinning process. Zinc electrowinning compositions containing a) antimony and b)antimony and glue were tested. Adding CPC at 0.05mM concentration to the electrowinning liquor resulted in increased current efficiency for both electrolytes.
The invention is related to additives for zinc electrowinning that inhibit hydrogen evolution and/or improve current efficiency for zinc electrodeposition, specifically cetylpyridinium-based additives.
Improving the energy efficiency of the zinc electrowinning process by inhibition of the parasitic hydrogen evolution reaction, which occurs in parallel with zinc deposition, is of major technological and commercial interest. One way of minimizing the cathodic hydrogen evolution is by the use of additives, generally organic compounds, which selectively increase the hydrogen evolution overpotential. Mackinnon et al. (Journal of Applied Electrochemistry, Volume 20, pages 728-736, 1990) and Scott et al. (Journal of Applied Electrochemistry, Volume 18, pages 120-127, 1988) describe the use of animal glue in combination with antimony to improve the current efficiency for zinc electrowinning when compared to additive-free electrolytes.
There is a need for improved additives that minimize

hydrogen evolution during zinc electrowinning while providing Che same or improved performance over traditional additives.
Therefore, it is an object of this invention to provide improved additives for zinc electrowinning that minimize hydrogen evolution while providing similar or improved performance over traditional additives.
Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), a cetylpyridinium salt, was tested as an additive in a zinc electrowinning process in two separate zinc electrowinning electrolyte compositions.- 1) with antimony and 2) with both antimony and glue.
The CPC additive had the most significant influence in the presence of antimony or antimony + glue combination, where it increased the current efficiency by 23.2% and 7.6%, respectively. Moreover, the presence of 0.05 mM CPC did not
increase the overall cell voltage.
Methods And Apparatus
Commercial beaker test cells containing a commercial electrowinning electrolyte (liquor) were connected to a power supply and placed in a 37 °c water bath. The anodes and cathodes

were made of lead and aluminium, respectively. The laboratory-supplied MSDS sheet indicated for the electrolyte the following composition: zinc sulfate 28 - 34% by weight, magnesium sulfate 9-15 g/1 (grams/litre) and manganese 1.5 - 2.5 g/1.
After allowing the temperature inside the test cells to reach the desired value of 37 °C, a constant current of 0.045 A, representing an electrowinning current density of 4 50 amperes/meter2, was applied for either 4 or 20 hours to a non-agitated electrolyte. After completion of the experiment the electrode assembly was removed from the glass beaker, rinsed with distilled water and the cathode deposit carefully scraped off and weighed with four digits precision using a digital Mettler AE 10 0 analytical balance. The test cells were rinsed between experiments with distilled water and acetone in order to remove traces of the organic additives. Replicates were also performed and the standard deviation was estimated.
The zinc electrodeposition current efficiency was calculated based on Faraday's law.-
(:/-:(%)=: ^-100 (i)
CE - current efficiency for Zn electrodeposition (%)

z -no. of electrons exchanged [=2]
F - Faraday's number [ = 96485.3 C raol"1]
md - amount of zinc deposit (g)
/- applied current [=0.045 A]
t - time (s)
AZn - atomic weight of zinc [ = 65.39].
The cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) (e.g. Sigma-Aldrich, U.S.) had the following structure:




Zinc Electrowinning Liquor with antimony present
Antimony (Sb) in 0.04 mg/1 (milligrams/litre) concentration was added as antimony - potassium tartrate to the zinc electrowinning electrolyte. Both four and twenty hour runs were performed. The experimental results of the four-hour runs are 20 summarized in Table 1.
Without the CPC additive present in the electrolyte, Sb had a detrimental effect on the current efficiency, i.e. between

65.1% (cell no. 15) and 74.7% (cell no. 14). On average, the current efficiency without the CPC additive present was 69.9%. Adding CPC improved the current efficiency on average by 23.2%
i.e. from 69.9% to 93.1%.
Table 1: Effect of CPC on the current efficiency of zinc electrowinning in the electrolyte containing 0.04 mg/1 Sb (as Sb-tartrate).

Conditions .-Temperature: 3 7 °C Time.- 4 hours Current efficiency (%) per Cell No. Average CB (%)
14 15
No additive • 74 . 7 65.1 ±1.0 69.9±6.8
CPC 0.05 mM (mM = millimolar) 93. 7 92. 7 ±2.9 93.1 ±0.9

The effect of CPC inAlonger-term (20 hours) experiment is shown in Table 2. Without the CPC additive, the current efficiency of cell no. 15 was only 36.6%, whilst with 0.05 mM CPC present the zinc electrowinning current efficiency was 15 58.9%. Thus, with the CPC additive the current efficiency was higher by 22.3%.

Table 2: Effect of CPC on the zinc electrowinning current efficiency in 20 hour experiment with 0.04 mg/1 Sb in the electrolyte.

Conditions .-Temperature: 3 7 °C Time: 2 0 hours Current efficiency (%) per Cell No.
No additive 36.6
CPC 0.05 mM 58.9
Example 2
Zinc Electrowinning Liquor with both antimony and glue
Similar experiments to those in Example 1 were performed with an electrolyte containing 0.04 rng/1 of Sb and 10 mg/1 of 10 glue (e.g. "pearl glue" supplied by Hudson Industries,
Johnstown, New York) . Both 4 and 20 hour runs were carried out The effect of the CPC additive on the zinc electrowinning current efficiency in the 4 hour runs is shown in Table 3.
15 The presence of glue minimizes to a certain extent the negative effect of antimony, yielding current efficiencies between 88.9%- and 90%. However, adding 0.05 mM CPC brought about additional increases of current efficiency, i.e. from 8 9.4% on average in the absence to 97% in the presence of CPC
20 (Table 3) .

Table 3: Effect of CPC on the current efficiency of zinc electrowinning in the electrolyte containing 0.04 mg/1 Sb (as Sb-tartrate) + 10 mg/1 glue.

Conditions: Temperature: 3 7 °C Time: 4 hours Current efficiency (%) per Cell No. Average CB (%)
13 16
No additive 88.9 90. 0 ±0.9 89.4 ±0.8
CPC 0.05 mM 98.3 95.8 97.0 ±1.8
The 20 hour experiments (Table 4) showed that CPC in 0.05 mM concentration increased the current efficiency of cell no. 16 from 77.2% to 87.3%.


Table 4.- Effect of CPC on the zinc electrowinning current efficiency in 20 hour experiment with 0.04 mg/i Sb and 10 mg/1 glue in the electrolyte.

Condit ions:
Temperature: 3 7 °C

Current efficiency (%) per Cell No.

Time.- 2 0 hours
Nc additive


CPC 0.05 mM

7. 3

The cell voltage is another important figure of merit of 15 the electrowinning process. An increase in the cell voltage
represents an increase in the amount of energy required and,

therefore, a less efficient electrowinning process. Table 5 shows that using 0.05 mM CPC in conjunction with Sb and glue did not induce an increase of the cell voltage.
Table 5.- Effect of CPC on the average cell voltage in 4 hour experiments with 0.04 mg/1 Sb and 10 mg/1 glue in the electrolyte.

Conditions: Temperature: 3 7 °C Time: 4 hours Average cell voltage (V)
No additive 2.83
CPC 0.05 mM 2.83
Accordingly, while this invention has been described with 10 reference to illustrative embodiments, this description is not intended to be construed in a limiting sense. Various modifications of the illustrative embodiments, as well as other embodiments of the invention, will be apparent to persons skilled in the art upon reference to this description. It is 15 therefore contemplated that the appended claims will cover any such modifications or embodiments as fall within the scope of the invention.









Patent Number 226196
Indian Patent Application Number 608/DEL/2004
PG Journal Number 01/2009
Publication Date 02-Jan-2009
Grant Date 10-Dec-2008
Date of Filing 26-Mar-2004
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
1 ELOD LAJOS GYENGE 307-1827 West 3rd Street Vancouver, British Columbia V6J 1K9
2 JOEY CHUNG-YEN JUNG 972-51st Street Delta, British Columbia V4M 3Z9
3 KLAUS HEINRICH OEHR 1940-180th Street Surrey, British Columbia V3S 9V2
4 STEVEN SPLINTER 1830 Burrill Avenue North Vancouver, British Columbia V7K 1M2
5 COLIN W. OLOMAN 3176 West 36th Avenue Vancouver, British Colummbia V6N 2R5
PCT International Classification Number C22B 19/00
PCT International Application Number N/A
PCT International Filing date
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 NA