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Research Article

Solid oxide membrane-assisted electrolytic reduction of Cr2O3 in molten CaCl2

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  • Received: 20 May 2020Revised: 5 July 2020Accepted: 9 July 2020Available online: 12 July 2020
  • Abstract: Solid oxide membrane-assisted electrolytic reduction of solid Cr2O3 to Cr in molten CaCl2 was performed using a sintered porous Cr2O3 cathode paired with an yttria-stabilized-zirconia (YSZ) tube anode containing carbon-saturated liquid copper alloy. Analyses of the reduction mechanism, ion migration behavior, and effects of cathode pellet porosity and particle size on electrolysis products and reduction rate identified cathode microstructure and electrolytic conditions as key factors of influence. Optimal results were obtained for high porosity and small particle size, as this combination aided ion migration, and good electrochemical activation was observed for cathode pellets prepared by 4 MPa molding followed by 2 h sintering at 1150°C. The electrode reduction process (Cr3+ → Cr2+ → Cr) was promoted by high electrode voltages to efficiently form Cr metal. As the proposed method did not require expensive pre-electrolysis or generate any harmful by-products, it was concluded to be well-suited for electrolytic Cr production.
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Solid oxide membrane-assisted electrolytic reduction of Cr2O3 in molten CaCl2

  • Corresponding author:

    Chao-yi Chen    E-mail: Ccy197715@126.com

  • 1. College of Materials and Metallurgy, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, China
  • 2. Guizhou Province Key Laboratory of Metallurgical Engineering and Process Energy Saving, Guiyang 550025, China

Abstract: Abstract: Solid oxide membrane-assisted electrolytic reduction of solid Cr2O3 to Cr in molten CaCl2 was performed using a sintered porous Cr2O3 cathode paired with an yttria-stabilized-zirconia (YSZ) tube anode containing carbon-saturated liquid copper alloy. Analyses of the reduction mechanism, ion migration behavior, and effects of cathode pellet porosity and particle size on electrolysis products and reduction rate identified cathode microstructure and electrolytic conditions as key factors of influence. Optimal results were obtained for high porosity and small particle size, as this combination aided ion migration, and good electrochemical activation was observed for cathode pellets prepared by 4 MPa molding followed by 2 h sintering at 1150°C. The electrode reduction process (Cr3+ → Cr2+ → Cr) was promoted by high electrode voltages to efficiently form Cr metal. As the proposed method did not require expensive pre-electrolysis or generate any harmful by-products, it was concluded to be well-suited for electrolytic Cr production.

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