A new way of extracting copper

June 29, 2017

MIT researchers have identified the proper temperature and chemical mixture to selectively separate pure copper and other metallic trace elements from sulfur-based minerals using molten electrolysis. This one-step, environmentally friendly process simplifies metal production and eliminates the toxic byproducts such as sulfur dioxide.

MIT postdoc Sulata Sahu (left) and graduate student Brian Chmielowiec hold a sample of nearly pure copper deposited on an iron electrode.

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