Continuous Purification of Molten Chloride Salt: Electrochemical Behavior of MgOHCl Reduction

Liam Witteman, Kerry Rippy, Patrick Taylor, Judith Vidal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


We present a study on the electrochemical behavior of magnesium hydroxide (MgOH+) reduction on a tungsten (W) cathode in molten chloride salt (MgCl2-KCl-NaCl) across the temperature range of 475 °C-525 °C. MgOH+, which forms within the salt upon exposure to moisture, is a leading cause of corrosion. Corrosion is a major barrier to deployment of chloride salts across a number of applications, including concentrating solar power plants and nuclear power plants. While pre-purification protocols have been developed to ensure MgOH+ is removed from molten chloride salts prior to deployment, MgOH+ forms in situ during operation of chloride-salt based plants. Thus, methods for continuous purification during plant operation are needed. Continuous electrochemical purification via electrolysis using a Mg anode and W cathode has been proposed, but little has been done to assess scalability. Here, we assess fundamental properties of electrochemical removal of MgOH+ to enable future scale up of this method.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number063502
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published on behalf of The Electrochemical Society by IOP Publishing Limited.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-85974


  • chloride salts
  • concentrating solar power
  • corrosion control
  • molten salt electrochemistry
  • molten salt purification


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