Currently, the Brown-Schlesinger process is still regarded as the most common and mature method for the commercial production of sodium borohydride (NaBH4). However, the metallic sodium, currently produced from the electrolysis of molten NaCl that is mass-produced by evaporation of seawater or brine, is probably the most costly raw material. Recently, several reports have demonstrated the feasibility of utilizing green electricity such as offshore wind power to produce metallic sodium through electrolysis of seawater. Based on this concept, we have made improvements and modified our previously proposed life cycle of sodium borohydride (NaBH4) and ammonia borane (NH3BH3), in order to further reduce costs in the conventional Brown-Schlesinger process. In summary, the revision in the concept combining the regeneration of the spent borohydrides and the used catalysts with the green electricity is reflected in (1) that metallic sodium could be produced from NaCl of high purity obtained from the conversion of the byproduct in the synthesis of NH3BH3 to devoid the complicated purification procedures if produced from seawater; and (2) that the recycling and the regeneration processes of the spent NaBH4 and NH3BH3 as well as the used catalysts could be simultaneously carried out and combined with the proposed life cycle of borohydrides.
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