Reduction of niobium pentoxide by carbon

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1961-02-01
Authors
Stevens, Ernest
Wilhelm, H.
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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Abstract

The investigations of the reduction of niobium pentoxide by carbon showed that niobium metal could be prepared by a direct reduction. High temperatures in the region of 2000°C but below the melting point of niobium and dynamic vacuum of one micron or less were the principal experimental conditions employed throughout the course of this study. The reaction, which followed very closely the stoichiometry of the equation Nb2o5 +5C ---> 2Nb + 5CO, began at a temperature near 1200°C and was nearly completed at 1600°C. The data indicated that it might be possible to allow reduction to take place at approximately 1800°C. After the reaction is completed at this temperature, raising of the temperature of the reaction material to nearly 2000°C might eliminate residual oxygen as a result of volatilization of a lower oxide of niobium.

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