Flag DE DeutschFlag GB English

RETEC electrolysis cells for the electrolytic recovery of precious metals

Description of system for the recovery of precious metals

This system serves the electrolytic recovery of metals, especially noble metals. The operation is based on the principle of electrolytic metal deposition by means of current. The metal cations located in the solution to be treated migrate – under the action of the weak current (3-6 V) applied between the electrodes – towards the foam cathodes and are deposited in their pores in a metallic form. With each pass, the solution to be treated flows through a number of cathodes. Thanks to the large effective area, the probability of a contact between the released metals and the cathodes is very high. The solution is thus depleted of metal ions and can be either forwarded to the rinsing tank or to waste water treatment. Several types of RETEC cells are available for the recovery of metals; however, the number of cathodes can vary between 2 and 50. The choice of the cell type is determined by the flow rate, the duration of treatment, the starting concentration and the desired final concentration.

Accessories for the RETEC plant

The RETEC cells are delivered including all equipment and are ready for connection. A simple system permits the self-charging of the pump aggregate. They can also be equipped with an air nozzle which causes turbulence in the bath. This permits optimal metal recovery. The cell can also be equipped with porous plates which cause a uniform electrolyte flow in the cell and retain particles contained in the solution with dimensions exceeding 300 micrometers. The power supply of the cells is achieved by a rectifier whose power is adapted to the cell size. Power consumption is low.


The cathode is the heart of the cell. It consists of a metal sponge, the so-called foam cathode, with a very large effective surface (up to 15 times the geometric surface). Even with very low concentrations (only a few ppm), it permits an effective depletion of the metal ions present in the solution and can absorb heavy metal in amounts of up to 100 times the original weight. When a cathode is saturated with metal it can be easily replaced without interrupting the operation of the electrolysis apparatus. The metallized cathode can be resold at the value of the metal contained in it, inserted as anode in a processing plant, or, if the metal value is too low, sold for metal exploitation. The anode consists of a coated titanium grid and is designed for oxygen development in corrosive media. Being electrically connected to the anodic collecting bar via a snap contact, the anodes can be easily withdrawn from the RETEC cell. This facilitates the cleaning of the cell.

More information:

Phone +49 711 518550-130 or -141