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Патент USA US2407691

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Sept. 17, 1946.
>R_ SUQH'Y ETAL
‘
‘2,407,691
CELL FOR THE PRODUCTION OF 'METALS BY ELECTROLYSIS OF FUSE!) ELECTROLYTES
Filed March>24,' 1939
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Inventors
Robert Suck/y
'
Geo?‘- : Messner
By Their Affqrnéysd
I
Patented Sept. 17, 1946
2,407,691
UNITED " STATES PATENT" ‘ OFFICE
CELL Fort THE PRODUCTION or METALS BY
I ELECTROLYSIS
LYTES
0F
FUSED, .ELECTR-Qr V
‘Robert Suchy and Georg M‘essner, Bitterfeld, Ger
many; vested in the Alien Property Custodian
Application March 24, 1933,, Serial No. 263,878
In Germany April 8,1938.
'
.
>
I
‘
3 Claims.
1
(Cl. 204-247)
' ‘
2
>
- ‘This invention relates to improvements in cells
for the production of metals by electrolysis of
fusedelectrolytes...
The‘ production of metals by the electrolysis of
fused electrolytes is preferably effected in cells
heated by the decomposing electric current. In
such cells the liquid metal may be deposited either
vertical cross-section of a cell according tov the
invention. Figure 2 shows a longitudinal sec
tion through the ‘cell. Figs. 3, 4 and 5 represent,
also in cross-section, different forms of construc
tion and relative disposition of the respective elec
trodes.
Referring toFig. 1 of the drawing, I denotes
at the surface or at the bottom of the molten bath
a vat made of refractory ceramic material capable
according to its speci?c gravity being lower or
of withstanding attack by the electrolyte and
higher than that of the melt. Vertical cathodes 10 the deposited metal. A cover 2 may be, if desired,
suspended from above are generally used for de
disposed on the top of the cell, so as to collect
positing the metal at the surface, whereas when
gaseous products liberated at the anode, for ex
it is desired to collect the metal at the bottom of
ample chlorine, an outlet therefor being provided
the bath, the latter is made to form the cathode,
at 3. The bottom of the vat is lined with a layer
which is then substantially horizontally disposed. 15 of carbon 15, which is connected to the source of
The latter procedure is frequently preferred when
current by means of current lead 5. Above the
producing metals of a low speci?c gravity (alkali
carbon layer there are disposed bars 6 of carbon
metals, magnesium, alkaline earth metals), since
the electrolyte protects the easily oxidizable metal
from attack by the atmosphere. In such cases
the ratio of speci?c gravities can, if necessary, be
adjusted to the desired value by adding to the
electrolyte indifferent substances adapted to re
duce the speci?c gravity of the same.
When the metal is deposited at the bottom of
the fused bath, the active surface o-fthe cathode,
which is formed by the collecting metal itself,
gradually approaches the anode, the level of the
metal constantly rising, while the thickness of the
electrolyte layer is diminishing. Unless the metal 30
is withdrawn from the cell from time to time and
the electrolyte replenished, short circuiting may
easily take place between the active cathode and
the anode. Adjustment of the anode so as to
prevent the distance between the active electrode ‘
or of a metal suitable for acting as the cathode.
The separately movable cathode bars 6 are loosely
attached to the bottom 4. The carbon anode bars
1 of the same cross section are connected by
means of the current leads 8. The current leads
5 and 8 are means for cathodically polarizing the
conductive bottom 4 and anodically polarizing
carbon anodes ‘I. 9 denotes the electrolyte.
When the vat is ?lled with the electrolyte, the
current passes directly from the carbon layer 4
to the carbon anodes ‘l, the current connection
between the bars 6 and the carbon layer being by
contact only. The bath voltage, which is then
still relatively high, causes the electrolyte to be
heated very rapidly.
But as soon as metal be
comes deposited at the bars 6, it collects in the
troughs between such bars, and by soaking into
the chinks between the barsand the carbon layer
surface from becoming too small meets with prac
improves the contact, so that henceforth the cur
tical difficulties, and would, when electrolyzing
rent passes from the upper edges of the bars 6
metallic halides with liberation of halogen, be
directly to the anode ‘I. At the same time the
particularly troublesome to realize without im
voltage sinks to a minimum value corresponding
pairing the purity of the halogen recovered. But 40 to the relatively small distance between the bars
even assuming that these difficulties were satis
5 and the anode T and remains constant hence
factorily overcome, the general disadvantage of
forth. The deposited metal is withdrawn from
the process still remains. viz. that the bath volt
time to time by means of taphole l I without in
age varies during electrolysis because of the vary
terrupting electrolysis and without any change
ing distance between the active surfaces of the
in the voltage.
electrodes.
In order to facilitate the gathering of the de
The main object of the present invention is
posited metal in the troughs between the cathode
the construction of a cell for the production of
bars, the upper surfaces thereof may be suit
metals by electrolysis of fused electrolytes, the
ably shaped, e. g. in the form of a slope, as shown
metal being deposited at the bottom of the cell,
in Fig. 3, the anode surfaces being provided with
which construction will avoid the aforesaid and
parallel slopes in order to- secure uniformity of
other disadvantages.
voltage. According to Fig. 4 the metal-collecting
In the annexed drawing, the invention is i2
space may be enlarged by employing cathode bars
lustrated in a diagrammatic manner and by way
of conical cross-section which cathode bars ex
of example. In the said drawing, Fig. 1 is a 55 tend across the whole cross-section of the bath
2,407,691
3
and are supported by the side-walls of the vat.
A combination of the features of Figs. 3 and 4
is shown in Fig. 5, where the spaces between the
anode and the cathode form a zig-zag line, an ar
rangement which, it has been found, has a par
ticularly, favorable effect upon the ?ow of the
electrolyte in the cell, the electrolyte thus being
prevented from becoming locally impoverished.
We claim:
1. In a cell for the recovery of metals by the
electrolysis of fused metal compounds,‘ the ar
' rangement of electrodes comprising a conductive
substantially plane bottom, conductive separate
ly movable cathode bars spacedly disposed on and
in contact with said bottom so as to form trough
4
separately movable cathode bars disposed sub
stantiallyin parallel on and in contact with said
bottom so as to form troughlike spaces adapted
to collect deposited metal between each other,
above said cathode bars being disposed anode
bars of the same cross section, ‘and, means for
cathodically polarizing said conductive bottom.
3. In a cell for the recovery of metals by the
- electrolysis of fused metal compounds, the ar
rangement of electrodes comprising a conductive
substantially plane bottom, straight conductive
separately movable cathode bars having a sloping
upper surface and disposed substantially in par
allel on and in contact with said bottom so as to
15 form troughlike spaces adapted to collect de- ,
posited metal between each other, at least one
anode disposed above said bars and having a low
er surface running substantially parallel with the
disposed anode bars of the same cross section, and
upper surface of said bars and at a predetermined
means for cathodically polarizing said conductive
20 constant distance therefrom, and means for
bottom.
cathodically polarizing said conductive, bottom
2. In a cell for the recovery of metals by the
and anodically polarizing said anode.
Y .
‘electrolysis of fused metal compounds, the ar
ROBERT SUCHY.
.
rangement of electrodes comprising a conductive
GEORG MESSNER.
substantially plane bottom, straight conductive
like spaces adapted to collect deposited metal be
tween each other, above said cathode bars being
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