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Chemistry Forums for Students => Undergraduate General Chemistry Forum => Topic started by: 10kd10 on March 12, 2005, 08:15:31 PM

Title: electrolysis of molten salt
Post by: 10kd10 on March 12, 2005, 08:15:31 PM

My question is:

Why is the electrolysis of molten salt the most economically viable way of extracting sodium and aluminumn but not iron?

- I know that iron cannot be extracted using this method because it is too reactive, therfore a chemical/commercial process has to be used.

- And i think that any other way of extracting Al except by using electrolysis of molten salt will not give you a high process aluminumn. For sodium i don't think there is any other way except 'electrolysis of molten salt'.

I'm just not completely sure,


Title: Re:electrolysis of molten salt
Post by: Donaldson Tan on March 13, 2005, 12:28:39 AM
in fact, electrolysis of molten salt is the unpreferred method because it's expensive and very enerygy-intensive. if metal extraction can be done not via such electrolysis, the other method will be preferred.

it's so much cheaper to obtain Fe by reducing the iron core using coke and carbon monoxide. you cant do the same for Al and Na given the extreme stability of their oxides to reducing agents.