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Title: Processing and Characterization of Sol-Gel Cerium Oxide Microspheres

Abstract

Of interest to space exploration and power generation, Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) can provide long-term power to remote electronic systems without the need for refueling or replacement. Plutonium-238 (Pu-238) remains one of the more promising materials for thermoelectric power generation due to its high power density, long half-life, and low gamma emissions. Traditional methods for processing Pu-238 include ball milling irregular precipitated powders before pressing and sintering into a dense pellet. The resulting submicron particulates of Pu-238 quickly accumulate and contaminate glove boxes. An alternative and dust-free method for Pu-238 processing is internal gelation via sol-gel techniques. Sol-gel methodology creates monodisperse and uniform microspheres that can be packed and pressed into a pellet. For this study cerium oxide microspheres were produced as a surrogate to Pu-238. The similar electronic orbitals between cerium and plutonium make cerium an ideal choice for non-radioactive work. Before the microspheres can be sintered and pressed they must be washed to remove the processing oil and any unreacted substituents. An investigation was performed on the washing step to find an appropriate wash solution that reduced waste and flammable risk. Cerium oxide microspheres were processed, washed, and characterized to determine the effectiveness of the new wash solution.

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1342344
Report Number(s):
PNNL-25863
TRN: US1701882
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; PLUTONIUM 238; CERIUM; CERIUM OXIDES; PLUTONIUM; GLOVEBOXES; MICROSPHERES; SOL-GEL PROCESS; POWER GENERATION; THERMOELECTRIC GENERATORS; SINTERING; WASHING; GELATION

Citation Formats

McClure, Zachary D., and Padilla Cintron, Cristina. Processing and Characterization of Sol-Gel Cerium Oxide Microspheres. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1342344.
McClure, Zachary D., & Padilla Cintron, Cristina. Processing and Characterization of Sol-Gel Cerium Oxide Microspheres. United States. doi:10.2172/1342344.
McClure, Zachary D., and Padilla Cintron, Cristina. Tue . "Processing and Characterization of Sol-Gel Cerium Oxide Microspheres". United States. doi:10.2172/1342344. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1342344.
@article{osti_1342344,
title = {Processing and Characterization of Sol-Gel Cerium Oxide Microspheres},
author = {McClure, Zachary D. and Padilla Cintron, Cristina},
abstractNote = {Of interest to space exploration and power generation, Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) can provide long-term power to remote electronic systems without the need for refueling or replacement. Plutonium-238 (Pu-238) remains one of the more promising materials for thermoelectric power generation due to its high power density, long half-life, and low gamma emissions. Traditional methods for processing Pu-238 include ball milling irregular precipitated powders before pressing and sintering into a dense pellet. The resulting submicron particulates of Pu-238 quickly accumulate and contaminate glove boxes. An alternative and dust-free method for Pu-238 processing is internal gelation via sol-gel techniques. Sol-gel methodology creates monodisperse and uniform microspheres that can be packed and pressed into a pellet. For this study cerium oxide microspheres were produced as a surrogate to Pu-238. The similar electronic orbitals between cerium and plutonium make cerium an ideal choice for non-radioactive work. Before the microspheres can be sintered and pressed they must be washed to remove the processing oil and any unreacted substituents. An investigation was performed on the washing step to find an appropriate wash solution that reduced waste and flammable risk. Cerium oxide microspheres were processed, washed, and characterized to determine the effectiveness of the new wash solution.},
doi = {10.2172/1342344},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Sep 27 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Tue Sep 27 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}

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