Copper Cathode

Copper cathode is a form of copper that has a purity of 99.95%. In order to remove impurities from copper ore, it undergoes two processes, smelting and electrorefining. The resulting, nearly pure copper is an excellent conductor and is often used in electrical wiring.

When it is in the ground, copper does not exist in its pure form. Rather it is part of a compound. One of the most common types of copper ore is a mixture of copper, iron and sulfur. This ore is called chalcopyrite. After the ore is mined, it is heated in a furnace to 2,012┬░ F (1,100┬░ C). At this temperature, oxygen reacts with the iron in the ore, turning the ore into three substances, iron oxide, sulfur dioxide and copper sulfite.

After most of the iron is removed from the copper ore, the copper sulfite, which is also known as copper matte, is exposed to high levels of oxygen. The copper matte is still in a molten state, and the oxygen sent into the furnace is able to bond with the remaining sulfur, creating more sulfur dioxide and 99% pure copper.

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