Effect of Temperature on Copper and Zinc Hydroxide Formation/Precipitation

  • Mr Trent Albrecht, Ian Wark Research Institute, University of South Australia,, Australia
  • Prof Jonas Addai-Mensah, Ian Wark Research Institute, University of South Australia,, Australia
  • A/Prof Daniel Fornasiero, Ian Wark Research Institute, University of South Australia,, Australia

Understanding the effect of temperature on the speciation of copper and zinc hydroxide is essential for many applications in industry and agriculture (Durand-Keklikian and Matijevic, 1990). There is currently very little information available in the literature on the effect of temperature on metal ion speciation, despite many industrial processes conducted under variable conditions. The research was conducted using a series of thermodynamic modelling as well as chemical and surface analysis techniques.

Results have shown that Cu2+ or Zn2+ ions are present in acidic pH solutions while Cu(OH)2,solid or Zn(OH)2,solid colloidal particles form/precipitate in neutral to alkaline pH conditions and their concentration increases with copper or zinc concentration and temperature, which can accurately be predicted from thermodynamic modeling. More Cu(OH)2,solid is formed and precipitates between temperatures of 5oC and 20oC while the opposite is true for zinc with larger formation and precipitation of Zn(OH)2,solid occurring at higher temperatures. This finding was confirmed with the observed increases of copper and zinc hydroxide precipitation and adsorption on a silica surface with increased temperature.

The precipitation of metal hydroxides has long been important in the treatment of waste water, containing metal ions (Hidmi and Edwards, 1999; Baltpurvins et al, 1997). This present study could aid in more efficient and economical treatment of waste water.


Baltpurvins, K., Burns R., Lawrance, G. and Stuart, A., 1997, Wat. Res., 31, 5, 973-980.
Durand-Keklikian, L. and Matijevic, E., 1990, Col. Poly Sci., 268, 1151-1158.
Hidmi, L. and Edwards, M., 1999, Environ. Sci. Technol, 33, 2607-2610.