THE HIGH TEMPERATURE CHEMICAL REACTIVITY OF LI2O

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The ultimate purpose of this study was to investigate the use of a Li-Ca mixture for direct reduction of actinide oxides to actinide metals at temperatures below 1500 C. For such a process to be successful, the products of the reduction reaction, actinide metals, Li{sub 2}O, and CaO, must all be liquid at the reaction temperature so the resulting actinide metal can coalesce and be recovered as a monolith. Since the established melting temperature of Li{sub 2}O is in the range 1427-1700 C and the melting temperature of CaO is 2654 C, the Li{sub 2}O-CaO (lithium oxidecalcium oxide) pseudo-binary system ... continued below

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Kessinger, G. & Missimer, D. November 13, 2009.

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The ultimate purpose of this study was to investigate the use of a Li-Ca mixture for direct reduction of actinide oxides to actinide metals at temperatures below 1500 C. For such a process to be successful, the products of the reduction reaction, actinide metals, Li{sub 2}O, and CaO, must all be liquid at the reaction temperature so the resulting actinide metal can coalesce and be recovered as a monolith. Since the established melting temperature of Li{sub 2}O is in the range 1427-1700 C and the melting temperature of CaO is 2654 C, the Li{sub 2}O-CaO (lithium oxidecalcium oxide) pseudo-binary system was investigated in an attempt to identify the presence of low-melting eutectic compositions. The results of our investigation indicate that there is no evidence of ternary Li-Ca-O phases or solutions melting below 1200 C. In the 1200-1500 C range utilizing MgO crucibles, there is some evidence for the formation of a ternary phase; however, it was not possible to determine the phase composition. The results of experiments performed with ZrO{sub 2} crucibles in the same temperature range did not show the formation of the possible ternary phase seen in the earlier experiment involving MgO crucibles, so it was not possible to confirm the possibility that a ternary Li-Ca-O or Li-Mg-O phase was formed. It appears that the Li{sub 2}O-CaO materials reacted, to some extent, with all of the container materials, alumina (Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}), magnesia (MgO), zirconia (ZrO{sub 2}), and 95% Pt-5% Au; however, to clarify the situation additional experiments are required. In addition to the primary purpose of this study, the results of this investigation led to the conclusions that: (1) The melting temperature of Li{sub 2}O may be as low as 1250 C, which is considerably lower than the previously published values in the range 1427-1700 C; (2) Lithium oxide (Li{sub 2}O) vaporizes congruently; (3) Lithium carbonate and Li2O react with 95% Pt-5% Au, and also reacts with pure Pt; and (4) It is likely that some or all of the past high temperature phase behavior and vaporization experiments involving Li{sub 2}O(s) at temperatures above 1250 C have actually involved Li{sub 2}O(l). If these past measurements were actually measurements performed on Li{sub 2}O(l) instead of the solid, the thermochemical data for phases and species in the Li-O system will require reevaluation.

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  • Journal Name: Nuclear Technology

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  • Report No.: SRNL-STI-2009-00745
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-08SR22470
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 969991
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc930712

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

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  • November 13, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 6:38 p.m.

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Kessinger, G. & Missimer, D. THE HIGH TEMPERATURE CHEMICAL REACTIVITY OF LI2O, article, November 13, 2009; South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc930712/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.