Electrometallurgy is a method that uses electrical energy to produce metals by electrolysis. Electrometallurgy is usually the last stage in metal production and is therefore preceded by pyrometallurgical or hydrometallurgical operations. The electrolysis can be done on a molten metal oxide (smelt electrolysis) which is used for example to produce aluminium from aluminium oxide via the Hall-Hérault process. Electrolysis can be used as a final refining stage in pyrometallurgical metal production (electrorefining) and it is also used for reduction of a metal from an aqueous metal salt solution produced by hydrometallurgy (electrowinning).
Electrometallurgy is the field concerned with the processes of metal electrodeposition There are four categories of these processes:
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