Electrochemical behavior of aluminum and some of its alloys in chloroaluminate ionic liquids: electrolytic extraction and electrorefining
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The electrochemical behaviors of pure Al, Al–6%Si, Al–3%Cu, and Al–3.7%Cu–0.9%Mg–0.8%Pb–0.6%Fe alloys were investigated in the chloroaluminate ionic liquids 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride [BMIm]Cl/AlCl3 (40/60 mol%) and 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride [EMIm]Cl/AlCl3 (40/60 mol%). Electrolytic extraction of copper from Al–Cu alloys in the employed ionic liquids was explored. The alloys were anodically dissolved in the ionic liquids and then pure copper was recovered under potentiostatic conditions. Due to the large difference between the deposition potentials of Cu and Al, pure Cu can be obtained without Al contamination. Electrorefining of Al–3%Cu and Al–6%Si alloys was also investigated in [BMIm]Cl/AlCl3 (40/60 mol%) at room temperature. High purity aluminum deposits were obtained with significantly low energy consumption of about 2 kWh/kg of Al.
KeywordsIonic liquids Aluminum alloys Extraction Anodic dissolution Electrorefining
The author would like to thank Prof. Frank Endres (Clausthal University of Technology) for fruitful discussions and valuable comments. The financial support by the BASF Company (Ludwigshafen, Germany) is gratefully acknowledged.
- 1.Welch BJ, Osteryoung RA (1981) J Electroanal Chem 118:455–466Google Scholar