I need to melt lithium carbonate and hold it between its melting point and 750 °C. Based on research so far, I think making an electrical DC-powered heater with a nichrome heating element would be best.

I have rough numbers from the link below on how much current is required depending on wire gauge etc:


In wanting to melt the lithium carbonate (1 kg or 13.53 mol), how would I work out how hot I would need to make the nichrome element? I know that the heat capacity is 97.4 J/(mol K), but I don't really know how to use the information I have.


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    $\begingroup$ Are you sure want to build a muffle furnace only to use it once for melting the salt? Wouldn't it be easier to rent one or buy an old used model? Designing one from scratch is not easy (trust me, I fixed the beaten one and made another one from scratch when I was a student) and requires not just the heating element, but the controller circuit, calibrated thermocouple and proper thermal insulation (and it's just a bare minimum). $\endgroup$ – andselisk Feb 10 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ @andselisk basically I want to run molten lithium carbonate through an electrolysis. I already have an alumina crucible which is what I'll have the carbonate in, I just need a means of melting it. What I'm imagining is that I'll have resistance wire allowing ohmic heating immersed in the carbonate, and I'll use refractory bricks to keep the whole thing closed off. But if there's a better way, let me know $\endgroup$ – Chris Feb 10 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ No, you are not supposed to immerse heating element, it shouldn't get in contact with the molten salt at all: this is plain dangerous! $\ce{Li2CO3}$ melts at 723 °C, and your target temperature is 750 °C leaving a window of about 25 °C. This can only be maintained if the temperature control is responsive and heat insulation is stable over time. TL; DR: you need a vertical muffle furnace for electrolysis of molten salts. $\endgroup$ – andselisk Feb 10 at 15:22