An electrochemical cell containing molten Li2CO3-Li2O at 900 °C has been proposed for the conversion of the greenhouse gas CO2 to CO for chemical energy storage. In the current work, we have examined the corrosion resistance of zirconia, beryllia and magnesia ceramics at 900 °C in the Li2CO3-Li2O and Li-Na-K carbonate eutectic mixtures to identify suitable electrically insulating materials. Conclusions regarding material stability were based on elemental analysis of the melt, primarily via X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, a particularly sensitive technique. It was found that magnesia is completely stable for at least 33 h in a Li2CO3-Li2O melt, while a combined lithium titanate/lithium zirconate layer forms on the zirconia ceramic as detected by XRD. Under the same melt conditions, beryllia shows considerable leaching into solution. In a Li-Na-K carbonate eutectic mixture containing 10.2 mol% oxide at 900 °C under standard atmospheric conditions, magnesia showed no signs of degradation. Stabilization of the zirconia content of the eutectic mixture at 0.01-0.02 at% after 2 h is explained by the formation of a lithium zirconate coating on the ceramic. On the basis of these results, we conclude that only magnesia can be satisfactorily used as an insulating material in electrolysis cells containing Li2CO3-Li2O melts.
- CO electrolysis
- Molten carbonates
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering