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Issue 18, 2009
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Direct and low energy electrolytic co-reduction of mixed oxides to zirconium-based multi-phase hydrogen storage alloys in molten salts

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Abstract

Direct synthesis of Zr-based AB2-type hydrogen storage alloys (HSAs) from mixed oxide precursors has been achieved by electrolysis in molten CaCl2 at 900 °C and a cell voltage below 3.2 V. The process resembled direct oxide-to-metal conversion in solid state, and the target alloys, namely ZrCr2, ZrCr0.7Ni1.3 and Zr0.5Ti0.5V0.5Cr0.2Ni1.3, were formed in situ during electrolysis without going through any melting step. Electrolysis energy consumption could be as low as 9.59 kWh (kg-HSA)−1 and the metal recovery yield was generally higher than 90%. The electrolytic products were readily obtained as powders with the designated compositions and crystal structures (e.g. the C14 and C15 Laves phases). More importantly, these Zr-based electrolytic HSA powders were composed of nodular micro-particles which are very desirable for fabrication of electrodes with micro-porosity to facilitate electrolyte ex- and ingression. Galvanostatic discharge-charge tests of the as-prepared electrolytic HSA powders resulted in similar or higher hydrogen storage capacities (up to 280 mAh g−1) in comparison with the same HSAs prepared by e.g. arc-melting the individual metals as reported in literature. Particularly, the electrolytic Zr-based HSAs were unique for their high initial capacities without any pre-treatment for activation, and they also exhibited highly satisfactory discharge rate capability with less than 20% capacity loss when the discharge current increased from 50 to 600 mA g−1.

Graphical abstract: Direct and low energy electrolytic co-reduction of mixed oxides to zirconium-based multi-phase hydrogen storage alloys in molten salts

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Nov 2008, accepted on 30 Jan 2009 and first published on 11 Mar 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B820560D
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2009,19, 2803-2809
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    Direct and low energy electrolytic co-reduction of mixed oxides to zirconium-based multi-phase hydrogen storage alloys in molten salts

    J. Peng, Y. Zhu, D. Wang, X. Jin and G. Z. Chen, J. Mater. Chem., 2009, 19, 2803
    DOI: 10.1039/B820560D

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