A process and apparatus for reducing an alkali metal salt to an alkali metal through electrolysis in a series of electrolytic cells are disclosed. The process employs as a separator between anode and cathode compartments a material that is both an ionic conductor of the metal ion and an electrical insulator. Preferred metals are sodium, lithium and potassium.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 The invention was made with Government support under Cooperative Agreement No. DE-FC36-04G014008 awarded by the Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in this invention.