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Publication numberUS1007897 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 7, 1911
Filing dateMay 10, 1910
Priority dateMay 10, 1910
Publication numberUS 1007897 A, US 1007897A, US-A-1007897, US1007897 A, US1007897A
InventorsGeorge O Seward, Franz Von Kuegelgen
Original AssigneeVirginia Lab Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrolytic apparatus.
US 1007897 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)




0 m Q WW m 1 W a conduit is. preferably formed integral with I shows in vertical mid-section the p form of apparatus embodymg our invent on UNITED STATES PrgEN'r OFFICE.




Specification of Letters Patent.

Patented Nov. 7, 1911.

Application filed April 23, 1906, Serial No. 313if9. Renewed May 10, 1910. Serial No. 560,462.

l'o all whom it may concern:

Be it known that W8,GEORGE ,O. SE'WARD,

a citizen ofthe United States, and FRANZ VON Kt'IGELGEN, a subject of the German Emperor, both residing at Holcombs Rock, in the county of Bedford and State of Virginia, have jointly invented certain new and useful Improvements in Electrolytic Apparatus, of which the following is a specifica-' Dion. 1

This invention relates to an electrolytic cell or vessel for theproduction of metals lighter than their electrolytesj g In the production by electrolysis of those metals and alloys which have a less specific gravity than the molten electrolytes from which they are 'separated, a source of-dilhculty is the collection of the metals in such a way that they cannot conde'in contactwith the gases set free at the anode, with which they would otherwise combine. The present invention is designed to render possible and easy such isolation of the separated metal or alloy by providing a combination of a cathode projecting up from the bottom of the electrolytic vessel through the electrolyte, and a chilled salt incrusted collecting partition located above the cathode in such a way that the metal is confinedas soon as separated and can be allowed to collect within the chamber" or space bounded by such partition, from which it may be removed as convenient.

In the production of sodium, which remains fluid at the temperature of the elec; trolyte, diliiculty is presented in discharging the metal from the cathode chamberinto a suitable receiving vessel, by reason of the congealing of the metal upon the walls of the conduit which becomes clogged thereby.

The present invention provides forthe ready discharge of such fluid metal by providing a vertical conduit into which the metal flows from the cathode chamber over a spout or lip which causes it to fall freely through the conduit without touching its walls, or touching only those portions of its walls which are adequately heated. This the cathode by making the latter hollow.

Figure l of the accompanying drawingsreferred as adapted to the production of sodium;

crusted partition D. In the construction shown the cell is of circular form, the oathode C, is arran ged in the center, the par-' t1t1on D s forced as a water-pooled; ring inclosing it concentrically, and the anode B is made as a larger ring fitted within the.

outer wall of the vessel A, but preferably 'insulatedfroin itllby a layer a of suitable insulating material. Since the cell is designed, to be used with an electrolyte of molten salt, it isimportant to insulate the vesseland protect it from the electrolyte byv making provision for a layer 5 of chilled salt covering its bottom. This is most certainly accomplished by the-provision "of a water-cooled vjacket E into which water may be introduced through a pipe 0 and discharged through a pipe d!., The provision of a cooling ja'cket isneedless, however, if the cell is suiiicie'ntly large so that the salt in the layer b is "so far removed f'ro'n'r the heating action of the current as -not'to be fused thereby; i

The cathode through the bottom of the vessel A, being insulated from it in any suitable way. A

layer 0 of insulating material is -shown-,and in addition the chilled electrolyte 6 serves C 'is. made to project up as further insulation. The cathode projects" to a height whichwill vary according to the material to be produced; for sodium, it should p roject slightly above the surface of the electrolyte; for calcium or 'r'nagnesium, it may terminate considerably below the sur-' face as shown in Fig.- 3.

The cathode chamber or collection chamher in which the metal separated at the oathode collects, is formed by the chilled saltincrusted partition I). The partition may be made of a coil of copper pipeof one or more convolutions, through which cold 'water or any rau-igerant is circulated in order to chill upbn its surface a layer of the salt or salts forming the electrolyte, whereby-it flow of the current through is insulated from the electric current and protected from the action of the electrolyte. The partition is located at the surface of the electrolyte, and rojects sufficientlybeneath the surface to e ect an adequate separation between the anode and cathode, so that the takes, place beneath the'partition. The par tition may project more orless above the" surface of the electrolyte. In the production of metals which oxidize'in contact with tures of salts.

For the production of sodium or other the air, a cover F is provided whereby to .inclose the cathode chamber;

The apparatus is particularly designed for the manufacture of the metals of'the alkali and alkali-earth groups and their alloys, by

the electrolysis of their molten salts or miX- metals which are fluid'at the temperature of the electrolyte, the cathode is made tubular and extends up to orabove the surface pf the electrolyte, being open at its upper end as: shown in Fig. 1, and having an inturned spout or lip f, so that the sodiumas I it rises above the electrolyte may overflow, .and falling over the lip,

may dropfreely through the hollow in the cathode, which forms a vertical conduit. which is functionally distinct from, the cathode, although conveniently constructed in one piece therewith, is lettered G- Beneath the conduit is placed arg suitable collecting receptacle or receiver To exclude "air, the condultmay have a flaring or trumpet mouth making a close joint with the walls of the receptacle H, which joint may be packed by a lutiug g of clay. or the like. In Fig. 1, It h designate the layers of sodium in the cathode chamber and receptacle H respec tively. The conduit G is preferably enlarged downwardly in order that the falling drops of sodium may fall wholly clear of its walls. -The inturned spout or lip f at the top,'i s designed normally to insurethatthe sodium shall drop free from the walls of the cathode or conduit, it being preferable that for the entire distance the sodium shall fall through space, and shall not run down the walls. The exposed surface of the cathode where the current density is greatest, is kept should fail-to discharge ond lip z is formed from which the descendling-sodium must drip directly enlarged lower portion of the conduit.

the electrolyte This conduit,

electrolyte, the cathode arranged to it fluid; but on descending below the through the 7 the construction shown the active portion of the cathode is formed preferably of a wrought iron pipe j of small enough diameter to give; the requisite current density, which is screwed or otherwise fastened into a trumpet-shaped casting 7v beneath, to whichlatter the conductor Z is connected.

The cathode-will be modified to adapt it to the requirements of the particular electrolysis required; Where it is not desired to discharge the metal product through the cathode, the latter may be solid instead of hollow. For the production of calcium or ma esium, it is preferable to make the cat ode terminate some distance below the surface of the electrolyte, so that the separated metal rises to'the top, passing out of contact with the cathode. This construction-is shown in lfig fi. The anode chamber may be covered over for the collection of the anode gas, as for example in the electrolysis of molten chlorids.

he invention is not limited to the use of a' circular vessel or a concentric. arrangementof the parts, nor to the use of an annular anode. The cell may be made of various shapes and proportions, and may be cnlarged to any desired size.

It is important that the cathode, which is preferably constructed to project vertically up through the. bottom of the cell, have its active oriehposed surfaces confined wholly within a vertical projection of the boundar'ies or'horizontal configuration of the cathode chamber, so that the metal .which disengagcs itself from the cathode shall, in ris- -ing through the electrolyte, be received within the cathode chamber and be prevented by the waterscooled partition from passing outside said chamber to recombine with the chlorin or other anion.

' What we claim is 1. In an electrolytic vessel the combination with an anode and cathode, of a cathode chamber formed by a chilled salt-incrustcd partition at and beneath the surface of the project upwardly within the electrolyte, with its active surface confined within a vertical projection of the boundaries of said chamber so that fused metal ascending from the cathode surfaces will collect within said chamber.

2. In an electrolytic vessel the combinm tion with an anode and cathode of a cathode chamber formed by a chilled salt-incrustcd partition at and beneath the surface of the.. electrolyte, the cathode arranged to project upwardly within the cathode chambcrwith its active surface confined-within the vertical projection ofthe boundaries of said chamber, so that fused metal ascending from the cathode surfaces will collect within said chamber. v

3. In an electrolytic-vessel the combination of an anode, a cathode, a cathode chamher into Which rises the fused metal liberated at the cathode, and a discharge conduit from said chamber extending vertically downward and having a lip adapted to cause such fused metal overflowing from said chamber to fall tree of the Wall of the conduit below such lip.

4c. In an electrolytic vessel the combination of an anode, a cathode, a cathode chainher into which rises the fused metal liberated at the cathode, and a discharge conduit from said chamber extending vertically downward and having a lip at its top to cause such fused metal overflowing from i said chamber to fall free of the Wall of the exterior thereto, and a cathode projecting up vertically into said chamber and made hollow to form a discharge conduit from said chamber extending vertically downward.

7. An electrolytic vessel having means for cooling its lower portion, an anode, a cathode, a cathode chamber, and a discharge conduit from the latter extending vertically downward through and opening beneath the vessel, and enlarged where it traverses the cooled portion thereof.

8. In an electrolytic vessel, the combination of an anode, a cathode chamber, and a cathode projecting up vertically into said chamber, made hollow to form a discharge conduit from said chamber extending vertically downward, and formed with a lip to cause the metal to fall free of the Wall of the conduit.

9. An electrolytic vessel comprising a central' cathode, an annular chilled salt-incrust ed partition surrounding said cathode, and an anode exterior to said partition, With means for removing from the cathode chamber formed by said partition fused metal which is liberated from the cathode.

In. Witness whereof, We have hereunto signed our names in the presence of two subscribing Witnesses.



' Copies of this patent may be obtained for five cents each-by addressing the Commissioner of Patents,

Washington, D. G.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2864749 *May 9, 1951Dec 16, 1958Timax CorpProcess for the production of titanium metal
US3368960 *Jun 29, 1962Feb 13, 1968Elektrokemisk AsAlumina reduction cell
US4420381 *Feb 8, 1982Dec 13, 1983Alcan International LimitedElectrolytic method and cell for metal production
U.S. Classification204/245
Cooperative ClassificationC25C7/005