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Electrolytic systems and methods for making metal halides and refining metals

United States Patent

May 26, 2015
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Y-12 National Security Complex - Visit the Technology Transfer Website
Disclosed are electrochemical cells and methods for producing a halide of a non-alkali metal and for electrorefining the halide. The systems typically involve an electrochemical cell having a cathode structure configured for dissolving a hydrogen halide that forms the halide into a molten salt of the halogen and an alkali metal. Typically a direct current voltage is applied across the cathode and an anode that is fabricated with the non-alkali metal such that the halide of the non-alkali metal is formed adjacent the anode. Electrorefining cells and methods involve applying a direct current voltage across the anode where the halide of the non-alkali metal is formed and the cathode where the non-alkali metal is electro-deposited. In a representative embodiment the halogen is chlorine, the alkali metal is lithium and the non-alkali metal is uranium.
Holland; Justin M. (Clinton, TN), Cecala; David M. (Knoxville, TN)
Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (Reston, VA)
13/ 626,222
September 25, 2012
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS The U.S. Government has rights to this invention pursuant to contract number DE-AC05-00OR22800 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Y-12, LLC.