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1. (WO2019027978) ELECTROLYTIC PRODUCTION OF REACTIVE METALS
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What is claimed is:

1. A method comprising:

providing a molten oxide electrolytic cell including a container, an anode, and a current collector;

disposing a molten oxide electrolyte within the container and in ion conducting contact with the anode and the current collector, wherein the electrolyte comprises a mixture of at least one alkaline earth oxide and at least one rare earth oxide;

providing a metal oxide feedstock comprising at least one target metal species into the molten oxide electrolyte;

applying a current between the anode and the current collector, thereby reducing the target metal species to form at least one molten target metal in the container; and

removing at least a portion of the molten target metal from the container.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the at least one alkaline earth oxide includes at least one of beryllium oxide, calcium oxide, magnesium oxide, strontium oxide, and barium oxide.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the at least one rare earth oxide includes at least one of scandium oxide, yttrium oxide, lanthanum oxide, cerium oxide, praseodymium oxide, neodymium oxide, promethium oxide, samarium oxide, europium oxide, gadolinium oxide, terbium oxide, dysprosium oxide, holmium oxide, erbium oxide, thulium oxide, and ytterbium oxide.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the at least one molten target metal comprises one of a rare earth metal.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein the metal oxide feedstock includes the rare earth metal, and the metal oxide feedstock is provided into the molten oxide electrolyte at the saturation concentration of the metal oxide feedstock.

6. The method of claim 4, wherein the at least one molten target metal comprises a rare earth metal alloy, the alloy comprising a rare earth metal and at least one of iron, copper, nickel, aluminum, zirconium, and titanium.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the at least one molten target metal comprises at least one of copper-beryllium, nickel-beryllium, aluminum-beryllium, zirconium-beryllium, and copper-

iron-beryllium.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein the target metal is neodymium and the electrolyte comprises calcium oxide, beryllium oxide, and neodymium oxide, and further wherein the calcium oxide and the beryllium oxide are in a ratio at approximately their eutectic composition and neodymium oxide is at a concentration of about its saturation in the calcium oxide and beryllium oxide mixture.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the electrolyte comprises at least three of cerium oxide, lanthanum oxide, strontium oxide, barium oxide, beryllium oxide, magnesium oxide, and calcium oxide.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein the electrolyte comprises about 10% to about 30% cerium oxide and about 10% to about 20% beryllium oxide with the balance being calcium oxide.

11. The method of claim 9, wherein the electrolyte comprises about 10% to about 30% cerium oxide, about 10% to about 30% lanthanum oxide, and about 10% to about 20% beryllium oxide with the balance being calcium oxide.

12. The method of claim 9, wherein the electrolyte comprises about 10% to about 30% cerium oxide, about 10% to about 30% lanthanum oxide, about 10% to about 30% strontium oxide, and about 10%) to about 20% beryllium oxide with the balance being calcium oxide.

13. The method of any one of claims 9-12, wherein the target metal is beryllium and the metal oxide feedstock includes beryllium oxide, and wherein the beryllium oxide feedstock is provided into the molten oxide electrolyte to maintain the beryllium oxide concentration in the molten electrolyte.

14. The method of any one of claims 9-12, wherein the target metal includes a rare earth metal and the metal oxide feedstock includes a rare earth metal oxide, and wherein the rare earth metal oxide feedstock is provided into the molten oxide electrolyte to maintain the rare earth metal oxide near its saturation concentration in the molten oxide electrolyte.

15. The method of claim 1, wherein the target metal is beryllium and wherein the electrolyte comprises 0% to about 85% lanthanum oxide, about 0% to about 85% cerium oxide, about 15% to about 40%) beryllium oxide, and 0% to about 60% calcium oxide.

16. The method of claim 1, wherein the target metal includes a rare earth metal and the metal oxide feedstock includes a rare earth metal oxide, and wherein the electrolyte includes about 40% lanthanum oxide, about 25% beryllium oxide, and about 35% calcium oxide.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein the rare earth metal oxide feedstock is provided into the molten oxide electrolyte to maintain the rare earth metal oxide near its saturation concentration in the molten oxide electrolyte.

18. A method comprising:

providing a molten oxide electrolytic cell including a container, an anode, and a current collector;

disposing a molten oxide electrolyte within the container and in ion conducting contact with the anode and the current collector, wherein the electrolyte comprises about 30% to about 50% beryllium oxide, 0% to about 85% lanthanum oxide, 0% to about 85% cerium oxide, with the balance being calcium oxide;

providing a metallic species feedstock of at least one of an oxide of titanium, zirconium, and hafnium into the molten oxide electrolyte;

applying a current between the anode and the current collector, thereby reducing the

metallic species to form at least one molten target metal in the container; and

removing at least a portion of the molten target metal from the container.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein the metallic species feedstock is provided into the molten oxide electrolyte at about 5% to about 25%.

20. The method of claim 18, where the target metal comprises an alloy, the alloy comprising the target metal and at least one of titanium, zirconium, and hafnium and at least one of iron, copper, nickel, aluminum, zirconium, and titanium.