LIFE Chamber Chemical Equilibrium Simulations with Additive Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen

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In order to enable continuous operation of a Laser Inertial confinement Fusion Energy (LIFE) engine, the material (fill-gas and debris) in the fusion chamber must be carefully managed. The chamber chemical equilibrium compositions for post-shot mixtures are evaluated to determine what compounds will be formed at temperatures 300-5000K. It is desired to know if carbon and or lead will deposit on the walls of the chamber, and if so: at what temperature, and what elements can be added to prevent this from happening. The simulation was conducted using the chemical equilibrium solver Cantera with a Matlab front-end. Solutions were obtained ... continued below

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DeMuth, J A & Simon, A J September 3, 2009.

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In order to enable continuous operation of a Laser Inertial confinement Fusion Energy (LIFE) engine, the material (fill-gas and debris) in the fusion chamber must be carefully managed. The chamber chemical equilibrium compositions for post-shot mixtures are evaluated to determine what compounds will be formed at temperatures 300-5000K. It is desired to know if carbon and or lead will deposit on the walls of the chamber, and if so: at what temperature, and what elements can be added to prevent this from happening. The simulation was conducted using the chemical equilibrium solver Cantera with a Matlab front-end. Solutions were obtained by running equilibrations at constant temperature and constant specific volume over the specified range of temperatures. It was found that if nothing is done, carbon will deposit on the walls once it cools to below 2138K, and lead below 838K. Three solutions to capture the carbon were found: adding pure oxygen, hydrogen/nitrogen combo, and adding pure nitrogen. The best of these was the addition of oxygen which would readily form CO at around 4000K. To determine the temperature at which carbon would deposit on the walls, temperature solutions to evaporation rate equations needed to be found. To determine how much carbon or any species was in the chamber at a given time, chamber flushing equations needed to be developed. Major concerns are deposition of carbon and/or oxygen on the tungsten walls forming tungsten oxides or tungsten carbide which could cause embrittlement and cause failure of the first wall. Further research is needed.

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PDF-file: 32 pages; size: 1.1 Mbytes

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  • Report No.: LLNL-TR-416959
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/985492 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 985492
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1014961

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • September 3, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Oct. 27, 2017, 5:36 p.m.

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DeMuth, J A & Simon, A J. LIFE Chamber Chemical Equilibrium Simulations with Additive Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen, report, September 3, 2009; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1014961/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.