Indium recovery via electrowinning from sulfate baths has gained attention as it does not present the drawbacks of toxic emissions, hermetically sealed system requirements, risk to human health, and environmental hazards. Following previous works related to the optimization processes for AISI 316L and nicket (Ni) cathodes, the significant importance of the metal supports on the input and output parameters of the process was observed. Thus, comparing the input and output parameters in both cases is of interest. Particularly, the focus has been on the electrolyte composition, current density and temperature with regard to the input parameters, while productivity, morphology and structure are considered with regard to the output parameters. Considering productivity as the optimal output, the findings for the Ni cathode were better than those for the AISI 316L cathode in most of the selected conditions studied. In the case of morphology, the indium grains appear rounded and dendritic on the AISI 316L cathode, while the grains on the Ni cathode are stratified and lamellar. The indium deposit obtained on the Ni cathode shows bigger grains than those on the AISI 316L cathode, independent of the used operating conditions. Regarding the structure, it is clearly tetragonal, but preferential orientation, crystallinity, and deformation of the structure strongly depend on the metal support.
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2023) 40:1299–1309, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-023-00789-z