Boeing Conservation awardIonnetX™

For more information please take a look at our full IonnetX™ Catalogue.pdf

Imagine. Recover 20 kg of nickel per day or 100 kg of silver or 40 kg of gold.

This is no longer a pipe dream. 20 years field testing of the original Ionnet makes these claims for IonnetX, the latest version of the most efficient electro-winning system yet devised, a reality.

IonnetX system“Order of magnitude” design changes have made the IonnetX system, remarkably user friendly and reliably maintenance-free. IonnetX’s performance in a “real world” plating shop has astounded the management of one of the world’s largest nickel-chrome operations.

Enormous turbulence combined with ultra-low current densities has achieved unheard of low ppm levels of nickel. Indeed, 1900 liters with a concentration of 26,000 ppm nickel was brought to below 20 ppm in about 18 hours. In the case of gold, silver, palladium and platinum, the end point is always a fraction of a ppm, and sometimes it is undetectable.

The curve displayed below is an empirical representation of the copper concentration diminishing as a function of time on a daily basis. This has been repeated each weekday for six months, with slight variation.

IonnetX copper concentration chart

Four systems in parallel operation for nickel recovery.

For those of you who are familiar with our thirty year-old Gold Bug®, one IonnetX™ is the equivalent of employing 65 Gold Bug® systems!

The IonnetX™ is modular and can be configured in parallel operation to double, triple, and so on, the recovery rate. Regardless of your recovery needs for heavy or precious metals, we can design the system for you.

For an understanding of how the IonnetX™ works, please see the section on our Ionnet system. The concept is the same, but the execution is better and larger.

The Problem

  • Removing the metal content from large volumes of solutions that contain either heavy or precious metals dissolved within them.
  • Recovering these metals easily and economically for reuse or sale.

The Solution

The lonnetX™ system. It was designed after 15 years of observation of our earlier lonnet™ system’s performance. The lessons learned from that experience in the field were the driving forces to redesign what we felt could be done better. And the lonnetX™ is the result of all of those changes.

How does it work?

As the metal-bearing stream enters the lonnetX™ cell, it is channeled in a serpentine path through a series of electrolytic chambers, each containing two anodes sandwiching a cathode. The turbulence created at the cathode interface insures high plating efficiency, translating into fast plate-out to very low concentrations. The metal deposits on and within the cathode. Any non-adherent solids which tend to accumulate during the electrowinning process are swept to the cell bottom and contained for convenient draining (the electrodes are raised 3” above the cell floor to eliminate the possibility of the solids causing a short circuit). Each lonnetX™ cathode can hold up to thirty five lbs. of metal (depending upon several parameters), 350 lbs. for the whole cell. The system is designed for easy access to all electrodes.

What distinguishes the IonnetX™ from other electrowinning systems?

Many things: The expanded-surface area cathodes, the unique solution flow design that creates turbulence, the improved contact system with quick disconnect user- friendly contacts, the direct current individual cell fusing system, the plastisol encased bus bars, to name a few.

What are some of the applications for the lonnetX™?

The lonnetX can be used to remove and recycle metals in the following ways:
  • On a batch basis from a spent plating bath or other metal-bearing solution
  • On a continuous basis from a primary drag-out rinse in order to obviate the need for precipitation or ion-exchange
  • On a batch basis to recycle ion-exchange regenerant

What are some of the various solution types for typical applications?

Any copper-sulfuric acid dumps, including:
  • Copper plating bath or drag-out rinses
  • Micro-etch and sulfuric acid dumps
  • Acid cleaner dumps
  • Ion-exchange regenerations
  • Silver, gold and palladium rinses and dumps
  • Silver, gold and palladium cyanide stripper solutions
  • Entek dumps
  • Electro-less copper bailouts
  • Nickel plating drag-out rinses and dumps
  • Cyanide cadmium plating solutions, rinses
  • Acid cadmium plating solutions, rinses
  • Cyanide zinc plating solutions
  • Cyanide copper plating solutions, rinses

Where are my cost savings using the lonnetX™ system?

When you remove your metals directly from your drag-out tank by electrolysis, you say good bye to the purchase of caustic soda for precipitating your metals as metal-hydroxide sludge in batches. You say good-bye to the labor and energy required to take that sludge out of solution, dewater it, and pack it. You say good-bye to shipping these containers of waste out at all. You no longer have a landfill liability. What you get instead is saleable scrap metal. In many cases, the scrap more than pays for the operating costs of the lonnetX™ system.

How low can you go and how quickly?

The lonnetX system is designed to afford the best possible conditions to allow a plating rate as close to the theoretical limit as possible at various concentration levels. This theoretical limit is based on the “electrochemical equivalence” of a particular element. The point is that this system is in a class by itself in terms of speed and limits. At high amperage we are able to get full efficiency at concentrations above 1 gram/liter and at low concentrations, our efficiency while not full, is maintained so that we typically bring solution metal concentration to levels close to and often lower than 1 milligram/liter. In many cases, this is below current environmental limits of discharge.


Wherever possible, the first line of attack should be electrowinning. Even if electrowinning cannot completely solve the problem, any reduction of sludge attained through electrowinning will mean a large cost savings. The lonnetX™ system is, by far, the least expensive alternative to attain this goal.


For more information please take a look at our full IonnetX™ Catalogue.pdf

Why Electrowinning?

Electrowinning, also called electroextraction, is the recovery of metals from solutions through the use of electrolysis. All over the planet metals are being dissolved in solutions for processes ranging from plating to anodizing to refining and more. AND THAT CREATES WASTE.

Here’s why, in general, electrowinning should be done:
  • In one step, It enables the recovery of metal in recyclable and saleable form
  • In some cases it can completely obviate the need for sludging or ion-exchange recovery and the requisite regeneration
  • In many cases there is less than a one year payback
  • It simplifies compliance with discharge limits
  • Low initial costs
  • Low operating costs
  • Simple to operate and maintain
Here are some of the applications:
  • Any copper-sulfuric acid dumps, including:
  • Copper plating bath or drag-out rinses
  • Micro-etch and sulfuric acid dumps
  • Acid cleaner dumps
  • Ion-exchange regenerations
  • Silver, gold, palladium rinses and dumps
  • Silver, gold, palladium cyanide stripper solutions
  • Entek dumps
  • Electroless copper bailouts
  • Nickel plating drag-out rinses and dumps
  • Cyanide cadmium plating
  • Acid cadmium plating
  • Cyanide zinc plating
  • Cyanide copper plating
But what is so special about the IonnetX™ Electrowinning System?
  • The lonnetX™ system was designed after 15 years of observation of our earlier lonnet™ system’s performance. The lessons learned from that experience in the field were the driving forces to redesign what we felt could be done better. And the lonnetX™ system is the result of all the changes.
  • For the first time, a high capacity system, has the ability to bring metal concentrations to compliance levels. This system will take copper, cadmium, silver, gold, and palladium down to a fraction of a part per million. This is documented.
  • Because of the design using expanded surface area cathodes, the foot print is minimal.
  • Our rugged design and durable components assure many years of trouble-free service.

Plug and Play System

Treating the solution without ever leaving the tote


Letters From A Few Of Our Customers…

Randy Epner
Precious Metals Processing Consultants, Inc.
430 Bergen Blvd.
Palisades Park, NJ 08750

Dear Randy:

Central Metal Finishing, Inc. is an AS9100 and Nadcap approved metal finishing facility. We operate in a very fast paced buisness enviroment and can’t afford to have down time that can impact delivery to our customers. We have been using your Ionnet system on our cadmium barrel line for approximatley 8 months now to reduce levels of cadmium drag-outs to sub ppm levels. Our cyanide level is reduced nearly as low.

As a result our labor costs and down time for changing rinses has signifigantly reduced. Waste treatment costs have also dropped substantially and we are using less water. We are also using your “Gold Bug” technology as part of our silver reclaim process with equally satisfactory results and plan to purchase additional Gold Bugs. Both systems are low on maintenance and highly reliable.

Dear Randy,

I only wish that we had tried your Ionnet System for cadmium waster solutions years ago. When our local sewer authority informed us that our limit on cadmium would be going down, I knew we had to do something. That was when we purchased your Ionnet System. It is remarkable what it has done for us. The sewer authority regulates us on final effluent so that is where we measure the camium concentration. As a result of using the Ionnet System the final effluent cadmium concentration in our 30,000 gallon per day waste water flow has dropped from a previous range of .4 to .5 ppm to a present level of .1 to .15 ppm. This has allowed us to be in a very acceptable position with the new discharge limits. When the authorities asked how we did it we proudly provided them with a working demonstration and explaination of how the Ionnet System worked.

The other “side benefit” of the Ionnet System is that it reduced the cyanide level in our discharge to almost nil. This has alway been a difficult polutant to control due to the fact that it readily complexes with other metals making it difficult to destroy. The Ionnet System significantly reduces the cyanide concentration at the source (the drag out tank) before it can mix with other waste and complex.

In all, we are very pleased with the results. This system has saved us money, labor and headaches. I would certainly recommend it to any company looking to cut their disposal costs.

Precious Metals Processing Consultants, Inc.
430 Bergen Blvd.
Palisades Park, NJ 07650
Attn: Randy Epner

Dear Randy:

At American Electro Products, Inc., we do a very significant volume of silver plating. As a result, we need to change our silver dragouts frequently. Because they contain a relatively low concentration of silver for which we had no effective process to recover, we were unable to recover all of the silver. When we heard about your Ionnet system, we were uncertain if it would be cost effective. But since you offered to let us try it with no obligations, we did.

We’re glad we did! The Ionnet unit works very quickly and efficiently. We batch treat 300 gallons of silver dragout at a time containing about 1000ppm. It takes about 8 hours to reduce the concentration to <10ppm. We are recovering far more silver than we expected and the unit paid for itself within several months. Because the expanded surface area cathodes you provide melt easily, our refiner is able to easily recover the silver.

As a bonus, it takes very little labor. We pump in the solution, turn the unit on, and we’re done. When we come back, the silver is removed. The Ionnet unit has definitely been a product well worth our investment.

Best regards,

Armand J. Daigle
Process Engineer

Randy Epner
Precious Metals Processing Consultants Inc.
430 Bergen Blvd.
Palisades Park, NJ 07650
Phone 201-944-8053 * Fax 201-944-8003

Dear Randy,

In the spring of 2006 we were looking for a better way to recover our silver from our spent plating baths. The current practice was to send the baths out for reclamation. There were exorbitant costs associated with both the processing and the transportation of this practice.

After viewing several units we made the decision to try the Ionnet system made by Precious Metals Processing Consultants, Inc. Once the unit was set up and running in a production environment it literally paid for itself within a few weeks. We started toying with the idea of purchasing multiple units but then we came to the realization that this one unit was capable of handling all our needs. Thanks Randy for inventing a product that far exceeded our expectations.

Dear Randy,

I know, I know! It took me 3 years to finally try your Ionnet System on our electro-less copper bailout, after using it for years on our silver rinses, and of course, your Gold bugs, everywhere.

Yeah…I should have done it 20 years ago, but even you did not know how well it would work back then. So let me tell you just how well it works:

In the past, we had been treating this constant waste by standard means, with all the concomitant labor, chemicals, and other costs. Now, we put 400 gallons of the deep dark blue bail-out solution in a tank, just turn a switch, and within 24 hours the solution appears to be crystal clear, and the concentration of copper is down below .3 ppm! If we wanted, we could bring it down to .1 ppm or even lower. With just the formaldehyde left we could easily oxidize this, pH adjust the solution, and dispose directly to the sewer…if we had a sewer! That is how well this system works. It’s so straightforward and simple, and of course maintenance free.

This has changed everything! Kudos to you.

Stephen Candiloro