Corrosion testing of zirconia, beryllia and magnesia ceramics in molten alkali metal carbonates at 900 °C

Valery Kaplan, Tatyana Bendikov, Yishay (Isai) Feldman, Konstantin Gartsman, Ellen Wachtel, Igor Lubomirsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An electrochemical cell containing molten Li2CO3-Li2O at 900 °C has been proposed for the conversion of the greenhouse gas CO2 to CO for chemical energy storage. In the current work, we have examined the corrosion resistance of zirconia, beryllia and magnesia ceramics at 900 °C in the Li2CO3-Li2O and Li-Na-K carbonate eutectic mixtures to identify suitable electrically insulating materials. Conclusions regarding material stability were based on elemental analysis of the melt, primarily via X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, a particularly sensitive technique. It was found that magnesia is completely stable for at least 33 h in a Li2CO3-Li2O melt, while a combined lithium titanate/lithium zirconate layer forms on the zirconia ceramic as detected by XRD. Under the same melt conditions, beryllia shows considerable leaching into solution. In a Li-Na-K carbonate eutectic mixture containing 10.2 mol% oxide at 900 °C under standard atmospheric conditions, magnesia showed no signs of degradation. Stabilization of the zirconia content of the eutectic mixture at 0.01-0.02 at% after 2 h is explained by the formation of a lithium zirconate coating on the ceramic. On the basis of these results, we conclude that only magnesia can be satisfactorily used as an insulating material in electrolysis cells containing Li2CO3-Li2O melts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-276
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Power Sources
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Beryllia
  • CO electrolysis
  • Magnesia
  • Molten carbonates
  • Zirconia

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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