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The effect of anodic bubble formation on cathodic mass transfer under natural convection conditions


The enhancing effect of gas bubbles generated at an anode, on the ionic mass transport rate at the associated cathode is analysed by means of an experimental laboratory-scale copper electrowinning cell in which the bubbles were (a) permitted to rise freely in the entire cell and (b) restricted in their motion by a copper baffle-plate placed between the two electrodes. The improvement in mass transfer observed in the unrestricted case has been correlated via statistical regression analysis to the intensity of bubble motion and pertinent cell parameters.

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b :

Distance of anode-cathode separation; m

D :

Electrolyte diffusivity, m2 s−1

D e :

Cell equivalent diameter; m

F :

Faraday constant; 9.6487×104C mol−1

g :

Acceleration due to gravity, m s−2

h :

Active electrode height, m

i :

Limiting current density; Ī average limiting current density; Am−2

L :

Electrode width, m

n a :

Number of electrons involved in the anode reaction for production of one mole of gas

p a :

Atmospheric pressure, Pa

Q :

Volumetric gas bubble rate, m3 s−1

(Re g):

Gas-phase Reynolds number defined in Equation 4


Schmidt number; (Sc)=vD −1


Sherwood number; (Sh)=ih/n c FDc o;n c number of electrons involved in cathode reaction,c 0 bulk electrolyte concentration, mol m−3

T :

Electrolyte temperature, K

Z :

Co-ordinate along electrode height, m

α, Β, γ :

Regression coefficients in Equation 5

v :

Electrolyte kinematic diffusivity, m2s−1


Denotes experimental conditions where the electrodes are separated by a conducting baffle-plate


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Mohanta, S., Fahidy, T.Z. The effect of anodic bubble formation on cathodic mass transfer under natural convection conditions. J Appl Electrochem 7, 235–238 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00618990

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  • Convection
  • Mass Transfer
  • Mass Transport
  • Natural Convection
  • Transport Rate