In this paper, the cyclic voltammetry was applied to investigate the electrochemical reduction processes of Nd(III) ions in NdF3-LiF melts with or without excessive metal Nd. Equilibrium experiments were carried out in NdF3-LiF melts with excessive spheric metal Nd to investigate the relationship between the NdF3:LiF mass ratio and NdF2 concentration. Electrolysis experiments were performed in NdF3-LiF-Nd2O3 melts with different NdF3:LiF mass ratios to explore the relationship between the NdF2 concentration and the current efficiency.
The results indicated that Nd(III) ions in the melts were reduced in two steps, i.e., Nd(III)→Nd(II) and Nd(II)→Nd(0). NdF2 could be formed by the comproportionation reaction between Nd(III) and Nd(0) and could stably exist in NdF3-LiF melts containing metal Nd(0). NdF2 mass concentration in the melts decreased from 45.5% to 36.4% with the increase of NdF3-LiF mass ratio from 7:3 to 9:1 in NdF3-LiF melts containing excessive spheric metal Nd, which resulted in a higher current efficiency during the electrolysis. And the highest current efficiency of about 50% for Nd extraction has been obtained by electrolysis in NdF3-LiF (9:1 mass ratio) melts with Nd2O3 (2%, mass concentration) at 1423 K.
(Received 2016/08/31; Accepted 2016/11/28; Published 2017/02/25)
Keywords: NdF2, current efficiency, NdF3-LiF, comproportionation reactionPDF (Free) Table of Contents
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