Reusability Test for Ceramic Crucibles as Liquid Cadmium Cathode Containers in Pyroprocessing
The compatibility of various ceramic crucibles (AlN, BeO, and SiC) for repeated use in pyroprocessing was investigated. Each ceramic crucible loaded with liquid cadmium was immersed in molten chloride salt containing uranium and rare earth elements (Nd, Ce, and La) at 500 °C to perform an electrodeposition, followed by heating to 920°C to separate the metal deposits from Cd during distillation. Repeated process runs showed that the ceramic crucibles could be recycled and reused, more specifically, 7 times for AlN, >13 times for BeO, and 4 times for the SiC crucible. Considering the reactivity of ceramic materials with metal deposits as well as their durability at high temperature, the crucible composed of BeO was concluded to be suitable for use in electrorefining and distillation.