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muhammajelly's avatar

How do I chemically purify Enameled Copper Clad Aluminum into Copper and Aluminum?

Asked by muhammajelly (562points) February 6th, 2013

I only have a few tons (8?) so I am not sure the best method (if any) with this small an amount. I prefer not to sell it and do not own a forge.

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4 Answers

RocketGuy's avatar

On one hand, both Cu and Al are valuable so you would want to separate and salvage both. To do that you might want to try heating up one or two pieces to 660°C and see if the Al melts off, leaving the Cu. I am not sure if any alloying would occur, in which case the Al won’t separate out.

On the other hand, it would be easier to corrode away the Al and just collect the copper. Al will be dissolved by sodium hydroxide, which is quite dangerous. I don’t know how you would get rid of the Al/NaOH solution. Maybe neutralize it with some acidic liquid? There are hazardous waste operators who can tell you how to prepare it, before they will come pick it up (for a fee).

The_Idler's avatar

dissolving 8 tons of Al in NaOH soln?
fascinating idea.

I’d love to see the fireball, if all that hydrogen gas went up!

RocketGuy's avatar

I did mention “dangerous”!

Tommy9in's avatar

There is no need for that.aluminium can be recycled by melting there are aluminum alloys thst contain cu. 319 alloy casting alloy 355 alloy the 319 is 3 to4% cu. 355 1 ti 1.5 % cu. Seo it doesn’t make sense to separate it chemically and that would-be dangerous

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