Use of iron reactive anode in electrowinning of neodymium from neodymium oxide

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Electrolytic production of metallic neodymium is carried out in fused neodymium fluoride salts containing neodymium oxide. Two major challenges pertaining to neodymium production in fluoride salts are a) low solubility of neodymium oxide in fluoride melt, b) possibility of anodic gas evolution (CO, CO 2 , CF 4 , C 2 F 6 ). In this study, iron is used as a reactive anode in the electrolysis process, promoting electrochemical dissolution of iron into the melt, preventing PFC (perfluorocarbon) gas evolution at the anode. Further, the rare earth oxide is converted to rare earth fluoride by the use of iron fluoride formed as the result of iron dissolution. Thus, the fluoridizing agent is constantly regenerated in-situ which enables the continuous conversion of neodymium oxide feed. The cathodic product is Nd–Fe alloy which can be used as a master alloy for the production of NdFeB magnets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-152
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Volume310
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Electrochemical extraction
  • Molten salts
  • PFC gas
  • Rare earths
  • Reactive anode

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