Chelating agents are used in metal electroplating as they allow more homogeneous and pure metal deposits. These are also employed in non electrolytic immersion baths, e.g. an excellent copper deposit on steel is obtained if the steel piece is immersed in a bath containing a solution of Cu-EDTA. The Cu-EDTA chelate acts as a source of Cu ions freeing the cupric ion as it reduces and deposits on the metallic surface.
Likewise, chelating agents are used in metallurgy: one method of separating ore from the deads is that of flotation. The floatation method is based on the selective absorption on the ore surface of hydrophobic substances, this way the ore floats on the surface of the tank and is separated from the deads which stay on the bottom. The application of a chelating agent such as EDTA restores the hydrophobic properties of the ore and permits a selective separation of its components.