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The removal of Ni, Cu and Fe from a Mixed Metal System using Sodium Hypophosphite as a Reducing Agent

Authors: Freeman Ntuli, Promise Sethembiso Ngema, Mohamed Belaid


The main objective of this study was to remove and recover Ni, Cu and Fe from a mixed metal system using sodium hypophosphite as a reducing agent and nickel powder as seeding material. The metal systems studied consisted of Ni-Cu, Ni-Fe and Ni-Cu-Fe solutions. A 5 L batch reactor was used to conduct experiments where 100 mg/l of each respective metal was used. It was found that the metals were reduced to their elemental form with removal efficiencies of over 80%. The removal efficiency decreased in the order Fe>Ni>Cu. The metal powder obtained contained between 97-99% Ni and was almost spherical and porous. Size enlargement by aggregation was the dominant particulate process.

Keywords: wastewater treatment, Crystallization, heavy metal removal, electroless plating

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