Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry

, Volume 22, Issue 8, pp 2435–2444 | Cite as

Electrochemical co-reduction of Y(III) and Zn(II) and extraction of yttrium on Zn electrode in LiCl-KCl eutectic melts

  • Wei Han
  • Wenlong Li
  • Mei Li
  • Zhuyao Li
  • Yang Sun
  • Xiaoguang Yang
  • Milin Zhang
Original Paper


This work presents an electrochemical study of Y(III) ions on W electrode and liquid Zn electrode and co-reduction mechanism of Y(III) and Zn(II) on W electrode in LiCl-KCl eutectic melts. Cyclic voltammogram and current reversal chronopotentiogram revealed that the electrochemical reaction of Y(III) on W electrode proceeds a single step mechanism of Y(III) to Y(0). On liquid Zn electrode, the deposition potential of Y(III) is more positive than that on W electrode due to the formation of Y-Zn solution and the reduction process was found to be a diffusion controlled and quasi-reversible at lower scan rate of 0.1 V/s. Based on the results of cyclic voltammometry, square wave voltammetry, and chronopoteniometry, the Y-Zn intermetallics could be formed by co-reduction process of Y(III) and Zn(II) on W electrode in LiCl-KCl-ZnCl2-YCl3 molten salts. Moreover, the electrochemical extracting metallic Y was conducted by galvanostatic and potentiostatic electrolysis on liquid Zn electrode. Electrolysis products consisted of Zn and YZn12 phases characterized by scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectrometry and X-ray diffraction. Meanwhile, the change of Y(III) concentration in LiCl-KCl eutectic melts was detected by inductive coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometer and the extraction efficiency could be estimated.


Electrochemical behavior Co-reduction Liquid Zn electrode Zn-Y intermetallic compounds Extraction efficiency 


Funding information

The work was financially supported by the National Natural Science foundation of China (11675044, 11575047, 21790373, 21271054, and 21173060), the Major Research plan of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (91326113 and 91226201), and the Fundamental Research funds for the Central Universities (HEUCFP201790).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Superlight Materials and Surface Technology, Ministry of Education, College of Materials Science and Chemical EngineeringHarbin Engineering UniversityHarbinChina
  2. 2.Institute of Nuclear Energy and SafetyHarbin Engineering UniversityHarbinChina

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