Electro-deposition and re-oxidation of carbon in carbonate-containing molten salts
The electrochemical deposition and re-oxidation of solid carbon were studied in CO32− ion-containing molten salts (e.g. CaCl2–CaCO3–LiCl–KCl and Li2CO3–K2CO3) at temperatures between 500 and 800 °C under Ar, CO2 or N2–CO2 atmospheres. The electrode reactions were investigated by thermodynamic analysis, cyclic voltammetry and chronopotentiometry in a three-electrode cell under various conditions. The findings suggest that the electro-reduction of CO32− is dominated by carbon deposition on all three tested working electrodes (Ni, Pt and mild steel), but partial reduction to CO can also occur. Electro-re-oxidation of the deposited carbon in the same molten salts was investigated for potential applications in, for example, direct carbon fuel cells. A brief energy and cost analysis is given based on results from constant voltage electrolysis in a two-electrode cell.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Carbon in Electrochemistry