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METHODS AND APPARATUSES FOR EFFICIENT METALS PRODUCTION, SEPARATION, AND RECYCLING BY SALT- AND ARGON-MEDIATED DISTILLATION WITH OXIDE ELECTROLYSIS, AND SENSOR DEVICE RELATED THERETO

United States Patent Application

20130152734
A1
View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
In one aspect, the present invention is directed to methods and apparatuses for recovering target metals from scrap. In some embodiments, the methods comprise dissolving a portion of a mixed metal scrap into a molten salt to form a molten salt and metal mixture, the scrap including a target metal species and at least one contaminant metal species; bubbling a gas through the molten salt and metal mixture to form a gas and metal vapor mixture comprising target metal vapors; and condensing at least a portion of the target metal vapors. In some embodiments, the apparatuses comprise a housing; a divider at least partially disposed within the housing, the divider forming at least a first chamber, a second chamber, and a fluid conduit between the first and second chambers; a top wall cooperating with a lower housing wall and at least one of the plurality of side walls to enclose the second chamber; a plurality of gas inlets disposed in the second chamber; and a gas outlet in fluid communication with the second chamber.
PAL, Uday B. (Dover, MA), Gratz, Eric (Bothell, WA), Guan, Xiaofei (Boston, MA), Powell, IV, Adam Clayton (Newton, MA), Zink, Peter A. (Jamaica Plain, MA), Tucker, R. Steve (Medford, MA), Pati, Soobhankar (Boston, MA), Strauss, John (Rindge, NH), Tajima, Aaron (Melrose, MA)
Metal Oxygen Separation Technologies, Inc. (Natick MA)
13/ 645,867
October 5, 2012
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT [0003] This invention was made with government support under Grant DE-EE0003454, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy; Grant 1026639, awarded by the National Science Foundation. The government has certain rights in the invention.