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Title: Evaluation of various carbon blacks and dispersing agents for use in the preparation of uranium microspheres with carbon

A comparison study on carbon blacks and dispersing agents was performed to determine their impacts on the final properties of uranium fuel kernels with carbon. The main target compositions in this internal gelation study were 10 and 20 mol % uranium dicarbide (UC 2), which is UC 1.86, with the balance uranium dioxide. After heat treatment at 1900 K in flowing carbon monoxide in argon for 12 h, the density of the kernels produced using a X-energy proprietary carbon suspension, which is commercially available, ranged from 96% to 100% of theoretical density (TD), with full conversion of UC to UC 2 at both carbon concentrations. However, higher carbon concentrations such as a 2.5 mol ratio of carbon to uranium in the feed solutions failed to produce gel spheres with the proprietary carbon suspension. The kernels using our former baseline of Mogul L carbon black and Tamol SN were 90–92% of TD with full conversion of UC to UC 2 at a variety of carbon levels. Raven 5000 carbon black and Tamol SN were used to produce 10 mol % UC2 kernels with 95% of TD. However, an increase in the Raven 5000 concentration led to a kernel density below 90%more » of TD. Raven 3500 carbon black and Tamol SN were used to make very dense kernels without complete conversion to UC 2. Lastly, the selection of the carbon black and dispersing agent is highly dependent on the desired final properties of the target kernels.« less
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  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. X-energy, LLC, Greenbelt, MD (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Nuclear Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 498; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3115
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; Internal gelation; Uranium microspheres; Carbon black; Dispersing agent
OSTI Identifier: