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6111r 2009 American Chemical Society pubs.acs.org/EF Energy Fuels 2009, 23, 61116120 : DOI:10.1021/ef900765h
 

Summary: 6111r 2009 American Chemical Society pubs.acs.org/EF
Energy Fuels 2009, 23, 61116120 : DOI:10.1021/ef900765h
Published on Web 10/15/2009
Oxide-Free, Catalyst-Coated, Fuel-Soluble, Air-Stable Boron Nanopowder as
Combined Combustion Catalyst and High Energy Density Fuel
Brian Van Devener, Jesus Paulo L. Perez, Joseph Jankovich, and Scott L. Anderson*
Department of Chemistry, University of Utah, 315 S. 1400 E. Rm. 2020, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112
Received July 21, 2009. Revised Manuscript Received September 26, 2009
Elemental boron has one of the highest volumetric heats of combustion known and is therefore of interest as
a high energy density fuel. The fact that boron combustion is inherently a heterogeneous process makes
rapid efficient combustion difficult. An obvious strategy is to increase the surface area/volume ratio by
decreasing the particle size. This approach is limited by the fact that boron forms a 0.5 nm thick native
oxide layer, which not only inhibits combustion, but also consumes an increasing fraction of the particle
mass as the size is decreased. Another strategy might be to coat the boron particles with a material (e.g.,
catalyst) to enhance combustion of either the boron itself or of a hydrocarbon carrier fuel. We present a
simple, scalable, one-step process for generating air-stable boron nanoparticles that are unoxidized, soluble
in hydrocarbons, and coated with a combustion catalyst. Ball milling is used to produce 50 nm particles,
protected against room temperature oxidation by oleic acid functionalization, and optionally coated with
catalyst. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering were used to
investigate size distributions, with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to probe the boron surface chemistry.

  

Source: Anderson, Scott L. - Department of Chemistry, University of Utah

 

Collections: Energy Storage, Conversion and Utilization; Materials Science; Chemistry