Production of Copper Powder by the Reduction of Copper Oxide

Reduction of copper oxide is the oldest and (in the United States) still one of the main commercial processes for making copper powder, along with water atomization. In this process, particulate copper oxide is converted to copper at elevated temperature by reducing gases. The product, a sintered porous cake, is then milled to a powder. The starting material for reduction was originally copper millscale and cement copper. However, as demand for copper powder exceeded supply and higher purity was required, particulate copper of high purity (chopped scrap or atomized copper) was oxidized to form cuprous or cupric oxide or a mixture of both.

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