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Title: Corrosion of Structural Materials for Advanced Supercritical Carbon- Dioxide Brayton Cycle

Abstract

The supercritical carbon-dioxide (referred to as SC-CO 2 hereon) Brayton cycle is being considered for power conversion systems for a number of nuclear reactor concepts, including the sodium fast reactor (SFR), fluoride saltcooled high temperature reactor (FHR), and high temperature gas reactor (HTGR), and several types of small modular reactors (SMR). The SC-CO 2 direct cycle gas fast reactor has also been recently proposed. The SC-CO 2 Brayton cycle (discussed in Chapter 1) provides higher efficiencies compared to the Rankine steam cycle due to less compression work stemming from higher SC-CO 2 densities, and allows for smaller components size, fewer components, and simpler cycle layout. For example, in the case of a SFR using a SC-CO 2 Brayton cycle instead of a steam cycle would also eliminate the possibility of sodium-water interactions. The SC-CO 2 cycle has a higher efficiency than the helium Brayton cycle, with the additional advantage of being able to operate at lower temperatures and higher pressures. In general, the SC-CO 2 Brayton cycle is well-suited for any type of nuclear reactor (including SMR) with core outlet temperature above ~ 500°C in either direct or indirect versions. In all the above applications, materials corrosion in high temperaturemore » SC-CO 2 is an important consideration, given their expected lifetimes of 20 years or longer. Our discussions with National Laboratories and private industry early on in this project indicated materials corrosion to be one of the significant gaps in the implementation of SC-CO 2 Brayton cycle. Corrosion can lead to a loss of effective load-bearing wall thickness of a component and can potentially lead to the generation of oxide particulate debris which can lead to three-body wear in turbomachinery components. Another environmental degradation effect that is rather unique to CO 2 environment is the possibility for simultaneous occurrence of carburization during oxidation of the material. Carburization can potentially lead to embrittlement of structural alloys in SC-CO 2 Brayton cycle. An important consideration in regards to corrosion is that the temperatures can vary widely across the various sections of the SC-CO 2 Brayton cycle, from room temperature to 750°C, with even higher temperatures being desirable for higher efficiencies. Thus the extent of corrosion and corrosion mechanisms in various components and SC-CO 2 Brayton cycle will be different, requiring a judicious selection of materials for different sections of the cycle. The goal of this project was to address materials corrosion-related challenges, identify appropriate materials, and advance the body of scientific knowledge in the area of high temperature SC-CO 2 corrosion. The focus was on corrosion of materials in SC-CO 2 environment in the temperature range of 450°C to 750°C at a pressure of 2900 psi for exposure duration for up to 1000 hours. The Table below lists the materials tested in the project. The materials were selected based on their high temperature strength, their code certification status, commercial availabilities, and their prior or current usage in the nuclear reactor industry. Additionally, pure Fe, Fe-12%Cr, and Ni-22%Cr were investigated as simple model materials to more clearly understand corrosion mechanisms. This first phase of the project involved testing in research grade SC-CO 2 (99.999% purity). Specially designed autoclaves with high fidelity temperature, pressure, and flow control capabilities were built or modified for this project.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1358349
Report Number(s):
13-4900
13-4900
DOE Contract Number:
NE0000677
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE

Citation Formats

Sridharan, Kumar. Corrosion of Structural Materials for Advanced Supercritical Carbon- Dioxide Brayton Cycle. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1358349.
Sridharan, Kumar. Corrosion of Structural Materials for Advanced Supercritical Carbon- Dioxide Brayton Cycle. United States. doi:10.2172/1358349.
Sridharan, Kumar. Sat . "Corrosion of Structural Materials for Advanced Supercritical Carbon- Dioxide Brayton Cycle". United States. doi:10.2172/1358349. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1358349.
@article{osti_1358349,
title = {Corrosion of Structural Materials for Advanced Supercritical Carbon- Dioxide Brayton Cycle},
author = {Sridharan, Kumar},
abstractNote = {The supercritical carbon-dioxide (referred to as SC-CO2 hereon) Brayton cycle is being considered for power conversion systems for a number of nuclear reactor concepts, including the sodium fast reactor (SFR), fluoride saltcooled high temperature reactor (FHR), and high temperature gas reactor (HTGR), and several types of small modular reactors (SMR). The SC-CO2 direct cycle gas fast reactor has also been recently proposed. The SC-CO2 Brayton cycle (discussed in Chapter 1) provides higher efficiencies compared to the Rankine steam cycle due to less compression work stemming from higher SC-CO2 densities, and allows for smaller components size, fewer components, and simpler cycle layout. For example, in the case of a SFR using a SC-CO2 Brayton cycle instead of a steam cycle would also eliminate the possibility of sodium-water interactions. The SC-CO2 cycle has a higher efficiency than the helium Brayton cycle, with the additional advantage of being able to operate at lower temperatures and higher pressures. In general, the SC-CO2 Brayton cycle is well-suited for any type of nuclear reactor (including SMR) with core outlet temperature above ~ 500°C in either direct or indirect versions. In all the above applications, materials corrosion in high temperature SC-CO2 is an important consideration, given their expected lifetimes of 20 years or longer. Our discussions with National Laboratories and private industry early on in this project indicated materials corrosion to be one of the significant gaps in the implementation of SC-CO2 Brayton cycle. Corrosion can lead to a loss of effective load-bearing wall thickness of a component and can potentially lead to the generation of oxide particulate debris which can lead to three-body wear in turbomachinery components. Another environmental degradation effect that is rather unique to CO2 environment is the possibility for simultaneous occurrence of carburization during oxidation of the material. Carburization can potentially lead to embrittlement of structural alloys in SC-CO2 Brayton cycle. An important consideration in regards to corrosion is that the temperatures can vary widely across the various sections of the SC-CO2 Brayton cycle, from room temperature to 750°C, with even higher temperatures being desirable for higher efficiencies. Thus the extent of corrosion and corrosion mechanisms in various components and SC-CO2 Brayton cycle will be different, requiring a judicious selection of materials for different sections of the cycle. The goal of this project was to address materials corrosion-related challenges, identify appropriate materials, and advance the body of scientific knowledge in the area of high temperature SC-CO2 corrosion. The focus was on corrosion of materials in SC-CO2 environment in the temperature range of 450°C to 750°C at a pressure of 2900 psi for exposure duration for up to 1000 hours. The Table below lists the materials tested in the project. The materials were selected based on their high temperature strength, their code certification status, commercial availabilities, and their prior or current usage in the nuclear reactor industry. Additionally, pure Fe, Fe-12%Cr, and Ni-22%Cr were investigated as simple model materials to more clearly understand corrosion mechanisms. This first phase of the project involved testing in research grade SC-CO2 (99.999% purity). Specially designed autoclaves with high fidelity temperature, pressure, and flow control capabilities were built or modified for this project.},
doi = {10.2172/1358349},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat May 13 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Sat May 13 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Technical Report:

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  • Significant progress has been made in the ongoing development of the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) Plant Dynamics Code (PDC), the ongoing investigation and development of control strategies, and the analysis of system transient behavior for supercritical carbon dioxide (S-CO{sub 2}) Brayton cycles. Several code modifications have been introduced during FY2011 to extend the range of applicability of the PDC and to improve its calculational stability and speed. A new and innovative approach was developed to couple the Plant Dynamics Code for S-CO{sub 2} cycle calculations with SAS4A/SASSYS-1 Liquid Metal Reactor Code System calculations for the transient system level behavior onmore » the reactor side of a Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) or Lead-Cooled Fast Reactor (LFR). The new code system allows use of the full capabilities of both codes such that whole-plant transients can now be simulated without additional user interaction. Several other code modifications, including the introduction of compressor surge control, a new approach for determining the solution time step for efficient computational speed, an updated treatment of S-CO{sub 2} cycle flow mergers and splits, a modified enthalpy equation to improve the treatment of negative flow, and a revised solution of the reactor heat exchanger (RHX) equations coupling the S-CO{sub 2} cycle to the reactor, were introduced to the PDC in FY2011. All of these modifications have improved the code computational stability and computational speed, while not significantly affecting the results of transient calculations. The improved PDC was used to continue the investigation of S-CO{sub 2} cycle control and transient behavior. The coupled PDC-SAS4A/SASSYS-1 code capability was used to study the dynamic characteristics of a S-CO{sub 2} cycle coupled to a SFR plant. Cycle control was investigated in terms of the ability of the cycle to respond to a linear reduction in the electrical grid demand from 100% to 0% at a rate of 5%/minute. It was determined that utilization of turbine throttling control below 50% load improves the cycle efficiency significantly. Consequently, the cycle control strategy has been updated to include turbine throttle valve control. The new control strategy still relies on inventory control in the 50%-90% load range and turbine bypass for fine and fast generator output adjustments, but it now also includes turbine throttling control in the 0%-50% load range. In an attempt to investigate the feasibility of using the S-CO{sub 2} cycle for normal decay heat removal from the reactor, the cycle control study was extended beyond the investigation of normal load following. It was shown that such operation is possible with the extension of the inventory and the turbine throttling controls. However, the cycle operation in this range is calculated to be so inefficient that energy would need to be supplied from the electrical grid assuming that the generator could be capable of being operated in a motoring mode with an input electrical energy from the grid having a magnitude of about 20% of the nominal plant output electrical power level in order to maintain circulation of the CO{sub 2} in the cycle. The work on investigation of cycle operation at low power level will be continued in the future. In addition to the cycle control study, the coupled PDC-SAS4A/SASSYS-1 code system was also used to simulate thermal transients in the sodium-to-CO{sub 2} heat exchanger. Several possible conditions with the potential to introduce significant changes to the heat exchanger temperatures were identified and simulated. The conditions range from reactor scram and primary sodium pump failure or intermediate sodium pump failure on the reactor side to pipe breaks and valve malfunctions on the S-CO{sub 2} side. It was found that the maximum possible rate of the heat exchanger wall temperature change for the particular heat exchanger design assumed is limited to {+-}7 C/s for less than 10 seconds. Modeling in the Plant Dynamics Code has been compared with available data from the Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) small-scale S-CO{sub 2} Brayton cycle demonstration that is being assembled in a phased approach currently at Barber-Nichols Inc. and at SNL in the future. The available data was obtained with an earlier configuration of the S-CO{sub 2} loop involving only a single-turbo-alternator-compressor (TAC) instead of two TACs, a single low temperature recuperator (LTR) instead of both a LTR and a high temperature recuperator (HTR), and fewer than the later to be installed full set of electric heaters. Due to the absence of the full heating capability as well as the lack of a high temperature recuperator providing additional recuperation, the temperature conditions obtained with the loop are too low for the loop conditions to be prototypical of the S-CO{sub 2} cycle.« less
  • Fluids operating in the supercritical state have promising characteristics for future high efficiency power cycles. In order to develop power cycles using supercritical fluids, it is necessary to understand the flow characteristics of fluids under both supercritical and two-phase conditions. In this study, a Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) methodology was developed for supercritical fluids flowing through complex geometries. A real fluid property module was implemented to provide properties for different supercritical fluids. However, in each simulation case, there is only one species of fluid. As a result, the fluid property module provides properties for either supercritical CO 2 (S-CO 2)more » or supercritical water (SCW). The Homogeneous Equilibrium Model (HEM) was employed to model the two-phase flow. HEM assumes two phases have same velocity, pressure, and temperature, making it only applicable for the dilute dispersed two-phase flow situation. Three example geometries, including orifices, labyrinth seals, and valves, were used to validate this methodology with experimental data. For the first geometry, S-CO 2 and SCW flowing through orifices were simulated and compared with experimental data. The maximum difference between the mass flow rate predictions and experimental measurements is less than 5%. This is a significant improvement as previous works can only guarantee 10% error. In this research, several efforts were made to help this improvement. First, an accurate real fluid module was used to provide properties. Second, the upstream condition was determined by pressure and density, which determines supercritical states more precise than using pressure and temperature. For the second geometry, the flow through labyrinth seals was studied. After a successful validation, parametric studies were performed to study geometric effects on the leakage rate. Based on these parametric studies, an optimum design strategy for the see-through labyrinth seals was proposed. A stepped labyrinth seal, which mimics the behavior of the labyrinth seal used in the Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) S-CO 2 Brayton cycle, was also tested in the experiment along with simulations performed. The rest of this study demonstrates the difference of valves' behavior under supercritical fluid and normal fluid conditions. A small-scale valve was tested in the experiment facility using S-CO 2. Different percentages of opening valves were tested, and the measured mass flow rate agreed with simulation predictions. Two transients from a real S-CO 2 Brayton cycle design provided the data for valve selection. The selected valve was studied using numerical simulation, as experimental data is not available.« less
  • STAR-LM is a lead-cooled pool-type fast reactor concept operating under natural circulation of the coolant. The reactor core power is 400 MWt. The open-lattice core consists of fuel pins attached to the core support plate, (the does not consist of removable fuel assemblies). The coolant flows outside of the fuel pins. The fuel is transuranic nitride, fabricated from reprocessed LWR spent fuel. The cladding material is HT-9 stainless steel; the steady-state peak cladding temperature is 650 C. The coolant is single-phase liquid lead under atmospheric pressure; the core inlet and outlet temperatures are 438 C and 578 C, respectively. (Themore » Pb coolant freezing and boiling temperatures are 327 C and 1749 C, respectively). The coolant is contained inside of a reactor vessel. The vessel material is Type 316 stainless steel. The reactor is autonomous meaning that the reactor power is self-regulated based on inherent reactivity feedbacks and no external power control (through control rods) is utilized. The shutdown (scram) control rods are used for startup and shutdown and to stop the fission reaction in case of an emergency. The heat from the reactor is transferred to the S-CO{sub 2} Brayton cycle in in-reactor heat exchangers (IRHX) located inside the reactor vessel. The IRHXs are shell-and-tube type heat exchangers with lead flowing downwards on the shell side and CO{sub 2} flowing upwards on the tube side. No intermediate circuit is utilized. The guard vessel surrounds the reactor vessel to contain the coolant, in the very unlikely event of reactor vessel failure. The Reactor Vessel Auxiliary Cooling System (RVACS) implementing the natural circulation of air flowing upwards over the guard vessel is used to cool the reactor, in the case of loss of normal heat removal through the IRHXs. The RVACS is always in operation. The gap between the vessels is filled with liquid lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE) to enhance the heat removal by air by significantly reducing the thermal resistance of a gas-filled gap.« less
  • The U.S. and other countries address major challenges related to energy security and the environmental impacts of fossil fuels. Solutions to these issues include carbon-free electricity generation and hydrogen production for fuel cell car, fertilizer synthesis, petroleum refining, and other applications. The Very High Temperature Gas Reactor (HTGR) has been recognized as a promising technology for high efficiency electricity generation and high temperature process heat applications. Therefore, the U.S. needs to make the HTGR intrinsically safe and proliferation-resistant. The U.S. and the world, however, must still overcome certain technical issues and the cost barrier before it can be built inmore » the U.S. The establishment of a nuclear power cost goal of 3.3 cents/kWh is desirable in order to compete with fossil combined-cycle, gas turbine power generation. This goal requires approximately a 30% reduction in power cost for state-of-the-art nuclear plants. It has been demonstrated that this large cost differential can be overcome only by technology improvements that lead to a combination of better efficiency and more compatible reactor materials. The objectives of this research are (1) to develop a supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle in the secondary power conversion side that can be applied to some Generation-IV reactors such as the HTGR and supercritical water reactor, (2) to improve the plant net efficiency by using the carbon dioxide Brayton cycle, and (3) to test material compatibility at high temperatures and pressures. The reduced volumetric flow rate of carbon dioxide due to higher density compared to helium will reduce compression work, which eventually increase turbine work enhancing the plant net efficiency.« less
  • The objective of this research is to improve a helium Brayton cycle and to develop a supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle for the Pebble Bed Reactor (PBR) that can also be applied to the Fast Gas-Cooled Reactor (FGR) and the Very-High-Temperature Gas- Cooled Reactor (VHTR). The proposed supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle will be used to improve the PBR, FGR, and VHTR net plant efficiency. Another objective of this research is to test materials to be used in the power conversion side at supercritical carbon dioxide conditions. Generally, the optimized Brayton cycle and balance of plant (BOP) to be developedmore » from this study can be applied to Generation-IV reactor concepts. Particularly, we are interested in VHTR because it has a good chance of being built in the near future.« less