Inhibiting the CO/CO/sub 2/ reaction between carbon and plutonia at elevated temperatures

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One of the problems associated with the sometimes protracted, ground storage of space PuO/sub 2/ RTG devices is the ingrowth of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the gas phase due to the cyclical reaction established between the fuel (/sup 238/PuO/sub 2/) and the carbon impact body. This ingrowth proceeds according to the two equations: xCO + PuO/sub 2/ = xCO/sub 2/ + PuO/sub 2/-x (1) and xCO/sub 2/ + xC = 2xCO, etc. (2). This reaction stops after launch because the two solid-phase reactants are physically separated when the inside of the RTG is evacuated to space for performance ... continued below

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Pages: 7

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Johnson, E.W. January 1, 1981.

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Description

One of the problems associated with the sometimes protracted, ground storage of space PuO/sub 2/ RTG devices is the ingrowth of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the gas phase due to the cyclical reaction established between the fuel (/sup 238/PuO/sub 2/) and the carbon impact body. This ingrowth proceeds according to the two equations: xCO + PuO/sub 2/ = xCO/sub 2/ + PuO/sub 2/-x (1) and xCO/sub 2/ + xC = 2xCO, etc. (2). This reaction stops after launch because the two solid-phase reactants are physically separated when the inside of the RTG is evacuated to space for performance reasons. When the RTG is stored on the ground, however, the product gases become established and can cause degradation of the solid-state thermoelectric elements. Controlling the reduction of the plutonia to such an extent that reaction (1) becomes thermodynamically unfavorable minimizes the continued generation of CO and CO/sub 2/. The conditions necessary to maintain plutonia at a substoichiometric level are being determined. These test conditions are described and are supported with data from previous heat source studies. Finally a facility to perform the necessary treatment is described.

Physical Description

Pages: 7

Notes

NTIS, PC A02/MF A01.

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  • 9. DOE compatibility meeting, St Petersburg, FL, USA, 27 Oct 1981

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  • Other: DE82002593
  • Report No.: MLM-2872-OP
  • Report No.: CONF-811076-4
  • Grant Number: AC04-76DP00053
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 6038518
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1099613

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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.

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  • January 1, 1981

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Feb. 18, 2018, 3:59 p.m.

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  • April 4, 2018, 12:45 p.m.

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Johnson, E.W. Inhibiting the CO/CO/sub 2/ reaction between carbon and plutonia at elevated temperatures, article, January 1, 1981; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1099613/: accessed November 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.