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Process for recovering alkali metals and sulfur from alkali metal sulfides and polysulfides

United States Patent

9,475,998
October 25, 2016
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Alkali metals and sulfur may be recovered from alkali monosulfide and polysulfides in an electrolytic process that utilizes an electrolytic cell having an alkali ion conductive membrane. An anolyte solution includes an alkali monosulfide, an alkali polysulfide, or a mixture thereof and a solvent that dissolves elemental sulfur. A catholyte includes molten alkali metal. Applying an electric current oxidizes sulfide and polysulfide in the anolyte compartment, causes alkali metal ions to pass through the alkali ion conductive membrane to the catholyte compartment, and reduces the alkali metal ions in the catholyte compartment. Liquid sulfur separates from the anolyte solution and may be recovered. The electrolytic cell is operated at a temperature where the formed alkali metal and sulfur are molten.
Gordon; John Howard (Salt Lake City, UT), Alvare; Javier (Cottonwood Heights, UT)
CERAMATEC, INC. (Salt Lake City, UT)
14/ 210,891
20140197040
March 14, 2014
GOVERNMENT LICENSE RIGHTS This invention was made with government support under Award No. DE-FE0000408 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.