skip to main content
DOE Patents title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: FRACTIONAL DISTILLATION SEPARATION OF PLUTONIUM VALUES FROM LIGHT ELEMENT VALUES

Abstract

A process is described for removing light element impurities from plutonium. It has been found that plutonium contaminated with impurities may be purified by converting the plutonium to a halide and purifying the halide by a fractional distillation whereby impurities may be distilled from the plutonium halide. A particularly effective method includes the step of forming a lower halide such as the trior tetrahalide and distilling the halide under conditions such that no decomposition of the halide occurs. Molecular distillation methods are particularly suitable for this process. The apparatus may comprise an evaporation plate with means for heating it and a condenser surface with means for cooling it. The condenser surface is placed at a distance from the evaporating surface less than the mean free path of molecular travel of the material being distilled at the pressure and temperature used. The entire evaporating system is evacuated until the pressure is about 10/sup -4/ millimeters of mercury. A high temperuture method is presented for sealing porous materials such as carbon or graphite that may be used as a support or a moderator in a nuclear reactor. The carbon body is subjected to two surface heats simultaneously in an inert atmosphere; themore » surface to be sealed is heated to 1500 degrees centigrade; and another surface is heated to 300 degrees centigrade, whereupon the carbon vaporizes and flows to the cooler surface where it is deposited to seal that surface. This method may be used to seal a nuclear fuel in the carbon structure.« less

Inventors:
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
4307732
Patent Number(s):
2816813
Assignee:
U.S. Atomic Energy Commission
Patent Classifications (CPCs):
Y - NEW / CROSS SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES Y02 - TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE Y02E - REDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
G - PHYSICS G21 - NUCLEAR PHYSICS G21C - NUCLEAR REACTORS
NSA Number:
NSA-12-006996
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Other Information: Orig. Receipt Date: 31-DEC-58
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
PATENTS; CONDENSERS; CONFIGURATION; CONTAMINATION; COOLING; DISTILLATION; EVAPORATION; HALIDES; HEATING; IMPURITIES; PATENT; PLUTONIUM; PLUTONIUM COMPOUNDS; PRESSURE; SURFACES

Citation Formats

Cunningham, B B. FRACTIONAL DISTILLATION SEPARATION OF PLUTONIUM VALUES FROM LIGHT ELEMENT VALUES. United States: N. p., 1957. Web.
Cunningham, B B. FRACTIONAL DISTILLATION SEPARATION OF PLUTONIUM VALUES FROM LIGHT ELEMENT VALUES. United States.
Cunningham, B B. Tue . "FRACTIONAL DISTILLATION SEPARATION OF PLUTONIUM VALUES FROM LIGHT ELEMENT VALUES". United States.
@article{osti_4307732,
title = {FRACTIONAL DISTILLATION SEPARATION OF PLUTONIUM VALUES FROM LIGHT ELEMENT VALUES},
author = {Cunningham, B B},
abstractNote = {A process is described for removing light element impurities from plutonium. It has been found that plutonium contaminated with impurities may be purified by converting the plutonium to a halide and purifying the halide by a fractional distillation whereby impurities may be distilled from the plutonium halide. A particularly effective method includes the step of forming a lower halide such as the trior tetrahalide and distilling the halide under conditions such that no decomposition of the halide occurs. Molecular distillation methods are particularly suitable for this process. The apparatus may comprise an evaporation plate with means for heating it and a condenser surface with means for cooling it. The condenser surface is placed at a distance from the evaporating surface less than the mean free path of molecular travel of the material being distilled at the pressure and temperature used. The entire evaporating system is evacuated until the pressure is about 10/sup -4/ millimeters of mercury. A high temperuture method is presented for sealing porous materials such as carbon or graphite that may be used as a support or a moderator in a nuclear reactor. The carbon body is subjected to two surface heats simultaneously in an inert atmosphere; the surface to be sealed is heated to 1500 degrees centigrade; and another surface is heated to 300 degrees centigrade, whereupon the carbon vaporizes and flows to the cooler surface where it is deposited to seal that surface. This method may be used to seal a nuclear fuel in the carbon structure.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1957},
month = {12}
}