Non-ferrous Metallurgy


Sub-project 12:

Hydrometallurgy of Indium and Germanium

December 2nd 2013 – November 30ᵗʰ 2017
Responsible professor and other scientist:
Staff on the project:
Students on the project:
Lennart Klesse (August 5th 2015 - February 28th 2016)
Aim of sub-project:
The aim of the sub-project is the development of new methods to extract the metals Indium and Germanium from process solutions. The favoured processes are electrowinning and subsequent electrorefining to extract high purity metals. The procedure should also be applicable to extract Indium from secondary raw materials, e. g. to win Indium from ITO targets. The project is expected to bring new knowledge about innovative electrolysis processes, the effect of various additives on electro crystallisation of metals and the precipitation of Germanium from nonaqueous solutions.
Ongoing work and results:
The first part of investigations contains electrochemical measurements to characterise suitable electrolyte systems for the electrolysis of indium. The results of the measurements are some new systems based on sulphate or chloride with improving additives, which enables indium electrolysis with a smooth cathodic deposition and without the co-deposition of hydrogen. Particularly the sulphate based system is applicable for electrorefining and electrowinning. The ongoing second part is focused on the refining rate of these electrolyte systems. Therefore, indium electrolysis is investigated in bench scale units.
Publications from sub-project:
  • S. Sperlich, M. Stelter (2014) Gewinnung von Indium aus sulfidischen Rohstoffen; presentation during the ‘GDMB Fachausschuss für Sondermetalle’
  • S. Sperlich, M. Stelter (2016) Elektrolytische Gewinnung von Indium, presentation during the ‘GDMB Fachausschuss für Sondermetalle’
Student theses related to sub-project:
Lennart Klesse: Indium electrolysis (2016)
Possible additional student projects: