Novel reactive anode for electrochemical extraction of rare earth metals from rare earth oxides

Aida Abbasalizadeh, Seshadri Seetharaman, Prakash Venkatesan, Jilt Sietsma, Yongxiang Yang

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


    Electrolytic production of metallic neodymium is carried out in fused fluoride salts containing neodymium oxide. Two major challenges pertaining to neodymium production are (a) low oxide solubility, (b) possibility of anodic fluorine gas evolution if the electrolysis rate exceeds feeding rate of neodymium oxide. In this study, a novel method is proposed in which iron fluoride (FeF3) is used as a fluorinating agent to convert neodymium oxide into neodymium fluoride. Electron Probe Micro Analysis (EPMA) results of as-converted salt show a complete conversion of neodymium oxide into neodymium fluoride. In the electrolysis process, iron is used as a reactive anode with electrochemical dissolution of iron into the melt, thus preventing fluorine gas evolution at the anode. Therefore, the fluorinating agent is constantly regenerated in situ which enables the continuous conversion of neodymium oxide feed. The cathodic product is a Nd–Fe alloy which can be directly used as a master alloy for the production of NdFeB permanent magnets.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRare Metal Technology 2017
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings
    EditorsHojong Kim, Shafiq Alam, Neale R. Neelameggham, Harald Oosterhof, Takanari Ouchi, Xiaofei Guan
    Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-51085-9
    ISBN (Print)978-3-319-51084-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    EventTMS 2017 - 146th Annual Meeting & Exhibition - San Diego, CA, United States
    Duration: 26 Feb 20172 Mar 2017

    Publication series

    NameThe Minerals, Metals & Materials Series
    ISSN (Print)2367-1181


    ConferenceTMS 2017 - 146th Annual Meeting & Exhibition
    Abbreviated titleTMS 2017
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySan Diego, CA


    • Rare earth
    • Electrochemical extraction
    • Reactive anode


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