Electrochemical extraction of neodymium by co-reduction with aluminum in LiCl-KCl molten salt

  • Yan Y
  • Xu Y
  • Zhang M
 et al. 
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Abstract

The electrochemical behavior of Nd(III) ions in LiCl-KCl and LiCl-KCl-AlCl3melts on a Mo electrode at 723 K was studied by various electrochemical techniques. The results showed that Nd(III) ions are reduced to Nd(0) through two consecutive steps, and the underpotential deposition of neodymium on pre-deposited Al electrode formed two kinds of Al-Nd intermetallic compounds in LiCl-KCl-AlCl3solutions. The electrochemical extraction of neodymium was carried out in LiCl-KCl-AlCl3melts on a Mo electrode at 873 K by potentiostatic and galvanostatic electrolysis. The extraction efficiency was 99.25% after potentiostatic electrolysis for 30 h. Al-Li-Nd bulk alloy was obtained by galvanostatic electrolysis. X-ray diffraction (XRD) suggested that Al2Nd and Al3Nd phases were formed in Al-Li-Nd alloy. The microstructure and micro-zone chemical analysis of Al-Li-Nd alloy were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS), respectively. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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