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Invited Review

Applications of molten salt and progress of molten salt electrolysis in secondary metal resource recovery

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  • Received: 20 May 2020Revised: 23 August 2020Accepted: 25 August 2020Available online: 27 August 2020
  • Molten salt is viewed as an excellent medium for chemical reaction, energy transfer, and storage. Molten salt innovative technologies should be developed to recover metals from secondary resources to reserve metals from the primary natural sources. Among these technologies, molten salt electrolysis is an economic and environmentally friendly method for extraction of metals from waste materials. From the perspective of the characteristics of molten salt, the application of molten salt should be comprehensively elaborated in chemistry, electrochemistry, energy, thermal storage, etc. This review discusses further directions for the research and developments of molten salt electrolysis and their use for metal recovery from various metal wastes such as magnet scrap, nuclear waste, and cemented carbide scrap. More attention is placed on the development of various electrolysis methods for different metal containing wastes, overcoming some problems in electrolytes, electrodes, and electrolytic cells. Special focus is given to the future development directions for current associated processing obstacles.
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Applications of molten salt and progress of molten salt electrolysis in secondary metal resource recovery

  • Corresponding author:

    Xiao-li Xi    E-mail: xixiaoli@bjut.edu.cn

  • 1. College of Materials Science and Engineering, Key Laboratory of Advanced Functional Materials, Education Ministry of China, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100124, China
  • 2. National Engineering Laboratory for Industrial Big-data Application Technology, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100124, China

Abstract: Molten salt is viewed as an excellent medium for chemical reaction, energy transfer, and storage. Molten salt innovative technologies should be developed to recover metals from secondary resources to reserve metals from the primary natural sources. Among these technologies, molten salt electrolysis is an economic and environmentally friendly method for extraction of metals from waste materials. From the perspective of the characteristics of molten salt, the application of molten salt should be comprehensively elaborated in chemistry, electrochemistry, energy, thermal storage, etc. This review discusses further directions for the research and developments of molten salt electrolysis and their use for metal recovery from various metal wastes such as magnet scrap, nuclear waste, and cemented carbide scrap. More attention is placed on the development of various electrolysis methods for different metal containing wastes, overcoming some problems in electrolytes, electrodes, and electrolytic cells. Special focus is given to the future development directions for current associated processing obstacles.

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