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Volume 190, 2016
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Solid oxide membrane-assisted controllable electrolytic fabrication of metal carbides in molten salt

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Silicon carbide (SiC), titanium carbide (TiC), zirconium carbide (ZrC), and tantalum carbide (TaC) have been electrochemically produced directly from their corresponding stoichiometric metal oxides/carbon (MOx/C) precursors by electrodeoxidation in molten calcium chloride (CaCl2). An assembled yttria stabilized zirconia solid oxide membrane (SOM)-based anode was employed to control the electrodeoxidation process. The SOM-assisted controllable electrochemical process was carried out in molten CaCl2 at 1000 °C with a potential of 3.5 to 4.0 V. The reaction mechanism of the electrochemical production process and the characteristics of these produced metal carbides (MCs) were systematically investigated. X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy analyses clearly identify that SiC, TiC, ZrC, and TaC carbides can be facilely fabricated. SiC carbide can be controlled to form a homogeneous nanowire structure, while the morphologies of TiC, ZrC, and TaC carbides exhibit porous nodular structures with micro/nanoscale particles. The complex chemical/electrochemical reaction processes including the compounding, electrodeoxidation, dissolution–electrodeposition, and in situ carbonization processes in molten CaCl2 are also discussed. The present results preliminarily demonstrate that the molten salt-based SOM-assisted electrodeoxidation process has the potential to be used for the facile and controllable electrodeoxidation of MOx/C precursors to micro/nanostructured MCs, which can potentially be used for various applications.

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Dec 2015, accepted on 08 Jan 2016 and first published on 08 Jan 2016

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5FD00221D
Citation: Faraday Discuss., 2016,190, 53-69
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    Solid oxide membrane-assisted controllable electrolytic fabrication of metal carbides in molten salt

    X. Zou, K. Zheng, X. Lu, Q. Xu and Z. Zhou, Faraday Discuss., 2016, 190, 53
    DOI: 10.1039/C5FD00221D

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