Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 2187–2194 | Cite as

A Comparison between Two Cell Designs for Electrochemical Neodymium Reduction Using Numerical Simulation

  • Tim HaasEmail author
  • Simon Hilgendorf
  • Hanno Vogel
  • Bernd Friedrich
  • Herbert Pfeifer


Nowadays, neodymium is almost solely produced by the electrochemical reduction of Neodymium oxide in fused fluoride salts. Thereby, the fluid flow distribution within the electrolysis cell is important for the productivity and efficiency of the process. In this work, the flow field within a conventional cell with vertical electrodes is compared to that of an innovative cell concept with horizontal electrodes by computational fluid dynamics. The numerical model uses the Eulerian volume of fluid approach to track phase boundaries between the continuous phases, while the Lagrangian discrete phase model is applied to compute the rising trajectories of emitted off-gas bubbles. The calculated results indicate that the new cell type is more suitable for the efficient, large-scale production of neodymium, since there is potential to decrease the cell voltage and enhance the current efficiency. By that, the specific energy consumption can be lowered significantly. However, an advanced level of automation is necessary to operate the new cell.


Neodymium Current Efficiency Specific Energy Consumption Electrode Distance Conventional Cell 
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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim Haas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Simon Hilgendorf
    • 2
  • Hanno Vogel
    • 2
  • Bernd Friedrich
    • 2
  • Herbert Pfeifer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Industrial Furnaces and Heat EngineeringRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.IME Process Metallurgy and Metal RecyclingRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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