Electrowinning Of Neodymium From A Molten Oxide-Fluoride Electrolyte
Description:In this U.S. Bureau of Mines study, neodymium metal of 99.8 pct purity was prepared by electrolysis of Nd203 salts dissolved in a molten fluoride electrolyte. The metal was electrowon in a molten state at current efficiencies of 50 to 60 pct. Oxygen and carbon were the major impurities detected in the product. During operation of the small-scale laboratory cell, a number of technical problems including anode effect, low oxide solubility in the electrolyte, high neodymium metal solubility, reactivity of the metal with the cell materials, and back reaction of the metal with the anode gases were encountered. Approaches to improve cell operation and prospects for commercial adoption of the electrolytic production of neodymium metal are discussed.
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