MAXIMILIAN STOCK LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MAXIMILIAN STOCK LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Copper refinery. View of a row of large electrolytic cells (brown) at a copper refinery plant. Here, impure copper is purified by passing an electric current through it while it is molten. The impurities collect at one electrode, and the pure copper can be run off to be collected for processing. This modern plant in Germany is cleaner than older versions, and can produce up to 170,000 tonnes of pure copper each year.
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