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Rhodium Recovery from Rhodium Plating Baths as an Industrial Waste (Rhodium)


    Rhodium Recovery from Rhodium Plating Baths as an Industrial Waste (Rhodium)

    Today, the biggest source of rhodium waste is rhodium plating baths used in the jewelry industry. Becoming wastes after losing their plating properties, the baths have a very high economic value.

    Under the project “Rhodium Recovery from Rhodium Plating Baths as an Industrial Waste (Rhodium) -1003" supported by TÜBİTAK ARDEB, there will be research on the enrichment (concentration) of rhodium with membrane technologies and then its recovery through a combined electro-recovery system from industrial wastewater that contains valuable metals.

    The proposed project will ensure better treatment of rhodium plating baths, a sector with intensive manufacturing and raw material consumption. Also, studies will be conducted about the re-use of Rh as a precious metal. In addition, it will broaden knowledge and experience in hybrid electro-membrane process design and operation.

    One of the main objectives of the project is the prevention of environmental problems caused by waste metals and minimization of waste disposal costs.

    The researchers from chemistry, reactor design engineering, and environmental engineering will come together under the partnership of Gebze Technical University, Mersin University and TÜBİTAK MRS Environment and Cleaner Production Institute in alignment with the project goals. They will conduct laboratory and pilot studies on rhodium plated solutions, the recovery of which is limited in Turkey, and/or new integrated hybrid process for high-purity metallic powder rhodium output.

    End Users: Jewelry manufacturing companies and industries making use of rhodium


    TÜBİTAK MRC Environment and Cleaner Production Institute

    Department of Environmental Engineering, Gebze Technical University

    Department of Environmental Engineering, Mersin University


    Start Date: 15.09.2017

    Finish Date: 15.09.2019


    • The project will make possible, for the first time, the examination of recovery of raw materials, water and chemicals with the high added value from real waste water with electro-membrane extraction. The relevant accumulation will be transferred to pilot first and then real scale plant installation.
    • A considerable amount of water is consumed in the plating industry. The employment of the technology to be optimized in the project in true-to-scale systems will contribute to the protection of water resources.
    • Membrane and electro-recovery processes will be run separately in laboratory settings, and process efficiency will be determined. Then, there will be an attempt to improve the performance of the hybrid-combined process.
    • The performances of the recovered plating solutions will be compared with commercial coating products.
    • Pilot scale applications will be implemented as a result of laboratory scale studies.
    • There will be patent applications for the electro-membrane hybrid system product to be developed.


    Recovered rhodium plating solution.


    "Electro-membrane hybrid system" for wastewater and metal recovery


    Project Documents