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Electrowinning Zinc from Zinc Chloride-alkali Metal Chloride Electrolytes.

Shanks DE; Haver FP; Elges CH; Wong MM
NTIS: PB 293 284 :17 pages
As part of its goal to help maintain an adequate supply of minerals to meet national economic and strategic needs, the Bureau of Mines, U.S. Department of the Interior, is investigating a fused-salt electrolytic procedure for producing zinc metal. A previous report described preliminary, small-scale work on the fused-salt electrolysis of zncl2. The present report covers a more detailed investigation of the properties of zncl2-alkali metal chloride electrolyte systems in relation to the production of zinc metal and also discusses electrolysis in large-scale, internally heated cells. The effect of composition on bath stability, current efficiency, cell voltage, and liquidus temperature was determined for the zncl2- nacl-kcl, zncl2-nacl-licl, and zncl2-kcl-licl electrolyte systems. An electrolyte composed of 38 mole-pct zncl2, 31 mole-pct nacl, and 31 mole-pct kcl gave the best overall results. Sludge (zno) formation in the zncl2-nacl-kcl, zncl2-kcl-licl, and zncl2-kcl systems was investigated during prolonged electrolysis. The zncl2- kcl-nacl electrolyte showed the least sludge formation. A 1,500-amp cell was operated using the zncl2-nacl-kcl electrolyte at 500 deg c. Zinc metal was produced at the rate of 4.0 Lb/hr with a current efficiency of 95 pct.
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Report of Investigation;
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
RI 8343
NIOSH Division
Source Name
NTIS: PB 293 284
Page last reviewed: December 3, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division