Emerging molten salt technologies for metals production
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Molten salts have been used in metal extraction for more than a century, and chemists and metallurgists have extensively studied the properties of these high-temperature phases. Because fundamental properties of salts, such as conductivity, viscosity, and density, have been determined to a high degree of accuracy, the processes have been optimized. Unfortunately, very few new, innovative processes have been developed in the past 50 years and many metals are still extracted by essentially the same routes as those used in the last century. This paper discusses possible new processes involving electrodeoxidation, mediated reactions, and novel cell designs.
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