Molten Salts Chemistry: History and Energy / Materials Applications

March 02, 2023

1 Rue Dupanloup
45000 Orléans


The lecture can be considered an introduction to the field of high-temperature molten salt chemistry. We will present the essential physicochemical properties of these industrially interesting media. We will try to have a look at molten salt chemistry from a historical perspective. We will talk about the industrial production of aluminium - which is by far the largest industrial application of molten salts. This electrometallurgical application with the fundamental science related to this application can be considered a benchmark for similar applications as well as other fields of molten salt chemistry. Another important milestone in the history of molten salt chemistry was several molten salt nuclear programs run in Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 50s-70s. We will talk especially about the Molten Salt Nuclear Reactor Experiment where fluid molten salt fuel was for the first time used in operation. The second part of the lecture will be devoted to the example of how the research in molten salts could look like. We will talk about the complex analysis of the electrochemical system for the production of magnesium from molten fluorides. This work was part of the project funded by US Department of Energy and run at Valparaiso University in Indiana. The whole project was about the development of thermal solar electrolysis of magnesium with the help of concentrated solar heat. The partner of Valparaiso University was the home institute of the author of this lecture (Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences) where some part of the physico-chemical analysis of the electrolyte was done. The last part of the talk will be dedicated to the work related to the Le Studium project here in Orléans at the CNRS institute Conditions Extrêmes et Matériaux : Haute Température et Irradiation (CEMHTI). The work represents the utilization of molten salts for the synthesis of new solid-state materials for different applications.


Dr Michal Korenko

LE STUDIUM Research Fellow 

FROM: Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences - SK
IN RESIDENCE AT: Extreme Conditions and Materials: High Temperature and Irradiation (CEMHTI) / CNRS - FR