Potentiometric Sensor for Real-Time Monitoring of Multivalent Ion Concentrations in Molten Salt

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Electrorefining of spent metallic nuclear fuel in high temperature molten salt systems is a core technology in pyroprocessing, which in turn plays a critical role in the development of advanced fuel cycle technologies. In electrorefining, spent nuclear fuel is treated electrochemically in order to effect separations between uranium, noble metals, and active metals, which include the transuranics. The accumulation of active metals in a lithium chloride-potassium chloride (LiCl-KCl) eutectic molten salt electrolyte occurs at the expense of the UCl3-oxidant concentration in the electrolyte, which must be periodically replenished. Our interests lie with the accumulation of active metals in the molten ... continued below

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Zink, Peter A.; Jue, Jan-Fong; Serrano, Brenda E.; Fredrickson, Guy L.; Cowan, Ben F.; Herrmann, Steven D. et al. July 1, 2010.

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Electrorefining of spent metallic nuclear fuel in high temperature molten salt systems is a core technology in pyroprocessing, which in turn plays a critical role in the development of advanced fuel cycle technologies. In electrorefining, spent nuclear fuel is treated electrochemically in order to effect separations between uranium, noble metals, and active metals, which include the transuranics. The accumulation of active metals in a lithium chloride-potassium chloride (LiCl-KCl) eutectic molten salt electrolyte occurs at the expense of the UCl3-oxidant concentration in the electrolyte, which must be periodically replenished. Our interests lie with the accumulation of active metals in the molten salt electrolyte. The real-time monitoring of actinide concentrations in the molten salt electrolyte is highly desirable for controlling electrochemical operations and assuring materials control and accountancy. However, real-time monitoring is not possible with current methods for sampling and chemical analysis. A new solid-state electrochemical sensor is being developed for real-time monitoring of actinide ion concentrations in a molten salt electrorefiner. The ultimate function of the sensor is to monitor plutonium concentrations during electrorefining operations, but in this work gadolinium was employed as a surrogate material for plutonium. In a parametric study, polycrystalline sodium beta double-prime alumina (Na-ß?-alumina) discs and tubes were subject to vapor-phase exchange with gadolinium ions (Gd3+) using a gadolinium chloride salt (GdCl3) as a precursor to produce gadolinium beta double-prime alumina (Gd-ß?-alumina) samples. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and microstructural analysis were performed on the ion-exchanged discs to determine the relationship between ion exchange and Gd3+ ion conductivity. The ion-exchanged tubes were configured as potentiometric sensors in order to monitor real-time Gd3+ ion concentrations in mixtures of gadolinium chloride (GdCl3) in LiCl-KCl eutectic molten salts through measurement of the potential difference between a reference and working electrode.

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  • INMM 51st Annual Meeting,Baltimore, MD USA,07/11/2010,07/15/2010

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-10-17752
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-05ID14517
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1000527
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc830792

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  • July 1, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • June 17, 2016, 10:26 p.m.

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Zink, Peter A.; Jue, Jan-Fong; Serrano, Brenda E.; Fredrickson, Guy L.; Cowan, Ben F.; Herrmann, Steven D. et al. Potentiometric Sensor for Real-Time Monitoring of Multivalent Ion Concentrations in Molten Salt, article, July 1, 2010; Idaho Falls, Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc830792/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.