High efficient electrolytic production of Al-Li alloy by using Li2CO3 as a source of lithium

Yuzuru Sato, Hiroshi Kariya, Takeshi Suzuki, Sakae Saito, Tsutomu Yamamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The behavior of Li2CO3 in molten LiCl electrolyte has been studied to produce Al-Li alloys electrolytically by using Li2CO3 as a source of Li. The Li2CO3 is a promising raw material of lithium because of its low cost, non-hygroscopic property, high purity, etc. compared with LiCl. An anode compartment, which should prevent the cathode from the infiltration of the anolyte with keeping the electrical contact, was formed by using porous Al2O3 crucible. By the electrolysis, lithium deposited at molten aluminum cathode to make an Al-Li alloy and the cathodic potential shifted to more positive potential than that of deposition of pure Li because of lower activity of Li in the alloy. On the other hand, the carbonate ion reacted with graphite anode and the anodic potential decreased by almost 1.2-1.3 V than that of Cl2 evolution when feeding small pieces of Li2CO3 into the anode compartment. Therefore, the potential required to obtain the Al-Li alloy is almost half of the theoretical decomposition potential of LiCl. Current efficiency of cathode was more than 90% which was comparable to the electrolysis using only LiCl electrolyte. Main component of the exhaust from the anode was CO2 with small amount less than 3% of CO. Carbon consumption was almost the theoretical minimum which was 0.5 mol to one mol Li2CO3. These results suggest that the use of Li2CO3 as a raw material of lithium is very effective to produce high-quality Al-Li alloy with low cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-142
Number of pages5
JournalKeikinzoku/Journal of Japan Institute of Light Metals
Volume48
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Mar

Keywords

  • Al-Li alloy
  • Electrode reaction
  • Electrolytic production
  • Lithium carbonate
  • Molten salt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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