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Preparation of Pb-Li alloy by fused salt electrolysis


  • NOTE: Facility for online Application for transfer of technology would be available soon...
Pb-lI ingot

1 Pb-lI ingot

Pb-Li alloys are very important alloys for fusion technology. However, diverse physical properties of lead and lithium elements pose severe restrictions in the synthesis of lead-lithium alloys which make the production of these alloys technically a very challenging task. Materials Group has developed an innovative fused salt method based technology for the production of Pb-Li alloy. Currently the production was demonstrated in batches of 20 kg, but it can easily be scaled up to any desirable batch size. This technology does not involve handling of highly pyrophoric metallic lithium. In place it uses very cheap substitute in form of salt mixture of lithium-chloride and potassium-chloride. This salt mixture is used to produce lithium ions in a semi-automated fused salt electrolysis inconel reactor which contains electrically-insulating ports for cathode insertion, gas inlet/outlet and a specially made inconel cage with a hydraulic-lifting mechanism. Li ions produced by the electrolysis-process were allowed to diffuse directly into the liquid lead in a control way to suppress the formation of undesirable phases without any fire hazard. Many such innovative steps ensured uniform distribution of lithium atoms in the alloy. Robustness and reproducibility of the technology was successfully tested several times.
Pb-lI ingot

1 Pb-lI ingot

Brief Description
Pb-Li alloys are very important alloys for fusion technology. However, diverse physical properties of lead and lithium elements pose severe restrictions in the synthesis of lead-lithium alloys which make the production of these alloys technically a very challenging task. Materials Group has developed an innovative fused salt method based technology for the production of Pb-Li alloy. Currently the production was demonstrated in batches of 20 kg, but it can easily be scaled up to any desirable batch size. This technology does not involve handling of highly pyrophoric metallic lithium. In place it uses very cheap substitute in form of salt mixture of lithium-chloride and potassium-chloride. This salt mixture is used to produce lithium ions in a semi-automated fused salt electrolysis inconel reactor which contains electrically-insulating ports for cathode insertion, gas inlet/outlet and a specially made inconel cage with a hydraulic-lifting mechanism. Li ions produced by the electrolysis-process were allowed to diffuse directly into the liquid lead in a control way to suppress the formation of undesirable phases without any fire hazard. Many such innovative steps ensured uniform distribution of lithium atoms in the alloy. Robustness and reproducibility of the technology was successfully tested several times.

Salient Feature

Dilute Pb-(0.2 wt% to 1.1 wt%) Li alloys can be produced upto 20 kg scale without using highly accident prone and costly lithium metal. The process is simple and economical compared to exiting MHD process.

Advantages
  1.  Dilute Pb-(0.2 wt% to 1.1 wt %) Li alloys in the batch of 20 kg scale, without using highly pyrophoric lithium metal, can be produced without involving very high technically qualified person.
  2.  The process is much cheaper than the MHD process, as it uses cheaper input materials, like compound of Li (namely LiCl) as a source of lithium metal
  3.  It does not require very stringent fire safety systems.
  4.  The process also ensures regulated supply of in-situ produced lithium ions in a controlled manner to avoid formation of high melting lead-lithium intermetallics.
  5.  The process can be used to prepare other high value Li based alloys.

 
Areas of Application

  • Coolant and  tritium breeder material in  fusion reactor
  • The developed process can also be used to prepare other high value lithium based alloys also.
Pb-lI ingot

1 Pb-lI ingot

Brief Description
Pb-Li alloys are very important alloys for fusion technology. However, diverse physical properties of lead and lithium elements pose severe restrictions in the synthesis of lead-lithium alloys which make the production of these alloys technically a very challenging task. Materials Group has developed an innovative fused salt method based technology for the production of Pb-Li alloy. Currently the production was demonstrated in batches of 20 kg, but it can easily be scaled up to any desirable batch size. This technology does not involve handling of highly pyrophoric metallic lithium. In place it uses very cheap substitute in form of salt mixture of lithium-chloride and potassium-chloride. This salt mixture is used to produce lithium ions in a semi-automated fused salt electrolysis inconel reactor which contains electrically-insulating ports for cathode insertion, gas inlet/outlet and a specially made inconel cage with a hydraulic-lifting mechanism. Li ions produced by the electrolysis-process were allowed to diffuse directly into the liquid lead in a control way to suppress the formation of undesirable phases without any fire hazard. Many such innovative steps ensured uniform distribution of lithium atoms in the alloy. Robustness and reproducibility of the technology was successfully tested several times.

Process

Currently the production was demonstrated in batches of 20 kg, but it can easily be scaled up to any desirable batch size.

Advantages
  1.  Dilute Pb-(0.2 wt% to 1.1 wt %) Li alloys in the batch of 20 kg scale, without using highly pyrophoric lithium metal, can be produced without involving very high technically qualified person.
  2.  The process is much cheaper than the MHD process, as it uses cheaper input materials, like compound of Li (namely LiCl) as a source of lithium metal
  3.  It does not require very stringent fire safety systems.
  4.  The process also ensures regulated supply of in-situ produced lithium ions in a controlled manner to avoid formation of high melting lead-lithium intermetallics.
  5.  The process can be used to prepare other high value Li based alloys.

 

Areas of Application

  • Coolant and  tritium breeder material in  fusion reactor
  • The developed process can also be used to prepare other high value lithium based alloys also.
Salient Feature

Dilute Pb-(0.2 wt% to 1.1 wt%) Li alloys can be produced upto 20 kg scale without using highly accident prone and costly lithium metal. The process is simple and economical compared to exiting MHD process.

Facilities Required

The details of the facilities are mentioned below:

Capital item required and their specifications

 1. Inconel retort and cage assembly
2. Chlorine and Lead scrubber
3. DC power supply
4. Vertical furnace along with hydraulic lifting
5.  Small furnace for melting of pure lead

Consumables required

1. Graphite outer
2. Graphite cathode
3. Alumina crucible for electrical insulation
4. High pure lead
5. Lithium chloride salt (LiCl) and Potassium chloride salt (KCl)
6. Molybdenum rod of 8 mm diameter and 1 m length
7.  1 m long alumina sleeves to enclose molybdenum rod
8. A graphite rod (30 mm dia, 300 mm long which is connected by threading with 1 m long inconel rod)
9. A stirrer molybdenum rod with 4 fins (length of rod 1mt, fins length 120 mm)



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    General License Fee : ₹ 125,000.00 (One Lakh Twenty Five Thousand)

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