Transient Heat Transfer in TCAP Coils

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The Thermal Cycling Absorption Process (TCAP) is used to separate isotopes of hydrogen. TCAP involves passing a stream of mixed hydrogen isotopes through palladium deposited on kieselguhr (Pd/k) while cycling the temperature of the Pd/k. Kieselguhr is a silica mineral also called diatomite. To aid in the design of a full scale facility, the Thermal Fluids Laboratory was used by the Chemical and Hydrogen Technology Section to compare the heat transfer properties of three different configurations of stainless steel coils containing kieselguhr and helium. Testing of coils containing Pd/k and hydrogen isotopes would have been more prototypical but would have ... continued below

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Steimke, J.L. March 9, 1999.

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The Thermal Cycling Absorption Process (TCAP) is used to separate isotopes of hydrogen. TCAP involves passing a stream of mixed hydrogen isotopes through palladium deposited on kieselguhr (Pd/k) while cycling the temperature of the Pd/k. Kieselguhr is a silica mineral also called diatomite. To aid in the design of a full scale facility, the Thermal Fluids Laboratory was used by the Chemical and Hydrogen Technology Section to compare the heat transfer properties of three different configurations of stainless steel coils containing kieselguhr and helium. Testing of coils containing Pd/k and hydrogen isotopes would have been more prototypical but would have been too expensive. Three stainless steel coils filled with kieselguhr were tested; one made from 2.0 inch diameter tubing, one made from 2.0 inch diameter tubing with foam copper embedded in the kieselguhr and one made from 1.25 inch diameter tubing. It was known prior to testing that increasing the tubing diameter from 1.25 inch to 2.0 inch would slow the rate of temperature change. The primary purpose of the testing was to measure to what extent the presence of copper foam in a 2.0" tubing coil would compensate for the effect of larger diameter. Each coil was connected to a pressure gage and the coil was evacuated and backfilled with helium gas. Helium was used instead of a mixture of hydrogen isotopes for reasons of safety. Each coil was quickly immersed in a stirred bath of ethylene glycol at a temperature of approximately 100 degrees Celsius. The coil pressure increased, reflecting the increase in average temperature of its contents. The pressure transient was recored as a function of time after immersion. Because of the actual process will use Pd/k instead of kieselguhr, additional tests were run to determine the differences in thermal properties between the two materials. The method was to position a thermocouple at the center of a hollow sphere and pack the sphere with Pd/k. The sphere was sealed, quickly submerged in a bath of boiling water and the temperature transient was recorded. There sphere was then opened, the Pd/k was replaced with kieselguhr and the transient was repeated. The response was a factor of 1.4 faster for Pd/k than for kieselguhr, implying a thermal diffusivity approximately 40 percent higher than for kieselguhr. Another implication is that the transient tests with the coils would have proceeded faster if the coils had been filled with Pd/k rather than kieselguhr.

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  • Other: DE00004977
  • Report No.: WSRC-TR-98-00431
  • Grant Number: AC09-96SR18500
  • DOI: 10.2172/4977 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 4977
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc677675

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

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  • March 9, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 25, 2015, 2:21 a.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 5:10 p.m.

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Steimke, J.L. Transient Heat Transfer in TCAP Coils, report, March 9, 1999; Aiken, South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc677675/: accessed June 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.