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Novel catalysts for hydrogen fuel cell applications:Final report (FY03-FY05).

Description: The goal of this project was to develop novel hydrogen-oxidation electrocatalyst materials that contain reduced platinum content compared to traditional catalysts by developing flexible synthesis techniques to fabricate supported catalyst structures, and by verifying electrochemical performance in half cells and ultimately laboratory fuel cells. Synthesis methods were developed for making small, well-defined platinum clusters using zeolite hosts, ion exchange, and controlled calcination/reduction processes. Several factors influence cluster size, and clusters below 1 nm with narrow size distribution have been prepared. To enable electrochemical application, the zeolite pores were filled with electrically-conductive carbon via infiltration with carbon precursors, polymerization/cross-linking, and pyrolysis under inert conditions. The zeolite host was then removed by acid washing, to leave a Pt/C electrocatalyst possessing quasi-zeolitic porosity and Pt clusters of well-controlled size. Plotting electrochemical activity versus pyrolysis temperature typically produces a Gaussian curve, with a peak at ca. 800 C. The poorer relative performances at low and high temperature are due to low electrical conductivity of the carbon matrix, and loss of zeolitic structure combined with Pt sintering, respectively. Cluster sizes measured via adsorption-based methods were consistently larger than those observed by TEM and EXAFS, suggesting , that a fraction of the clusters were inaccessible to the fluid phase. Detailed EXAFS analysis has been performed on selected catalysts and catalyst precursors to monitor trends in cluster size evolution, as well as oxidation states of Pt. Experiments were conducted to probe the electroactive surface area of the Pt clusters. These Pt/C materials had as much as 110 m{sup 2}/g{sub pt} electroactive surface area, an almost 30% improvement over what is commercially (mfg. by ETEK) available (86 m{sup 2}/g{sub pt}). These Pt/C materials also perform qualitatively as well as the ETEK material for the ORR, a non-trivial achievement. A fuel cell test showed that Pt/C outperformed the ETEK ...
Date: December 1, 2005
Creator: Thornberg, Steven Michael; Coker, Eric Nicholas; Jarek, Russell L. & Steen, William Arthur
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Surface plasmon sensing of gas phase contaminants using optical fiber.

Description: Fiber-optic gas phase surface plasmon resonance (SPR) detection of several contaminant gases of interest to state-of-health monitoring in high-consequence sealed systems has been demonstrated. These contaminant gases include H{sub 2}, H{sub 2}S, and moisture using a single-ended optical fiber mode. Data demonstrate that results can be obtained and sensitivity is adequate in a dosimetric mode that allows periodic monitoring of system atmospheres. Modeling studies were performed to direct the design of the sensor probe for optimized dimensions and to allow simultaneous monitoring of several constituents with a single sensor fiber. Testing of the system demonstrates the ability to detect 70mTorr partial pressures of H{sub 2} using this technique and <280 {micro}Torr partial pressures of H{sub 2}S. In addition, a multiple sensor fiber has been demonstrated that allows a single fiber to measure H{sub 2}, H{sub 2}S, and H{sub 2}O without changing the fiber or the analytical system.
Date: October 1, 2009
Creator: Thornberg, Steven Michael; White, Michael I.; Rumpf, Arthur Norman & Pfeifer, Kent Bryant
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Precision moisture generation and measurement.

Description: In many industrial processes, gaseous moisture is undesirable as it can lead to metal corrosion, polymer degradation, and other materials aging processes. However, generating and measuring precise moisture concentrations is challenging due to the need to cover a broad concentration range (parts-per-billion to percent) and the affinity of moisture to a wide range surfaces and materials. This document will discuss the techniques employed by the Mass Spectrometry Laboratory of the Materials Reliability Department at Sandia National Laboratories to generate and measure known gaseous moisture concentrations. This document highlights the use of a chilled mirror and primary standard humidity generator for the characterization of aluminum oxide moisture sensors. The data presented shows an excellent correlation in frost point measured between the two instruments, and thus provides an accurate and reliable platform for characterizing moisture sensors and performing other moisture related experiments.
Date: March 1, 2010
Creator: Thornberg, Steven Michael; White, Michael I. & Irwin, Adriane Nadine
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Method for creating gas standards form liquid HFE-7100 and FC-72.

Description: HFE-7100 and FC-72 fluorinert are two fluids used during weapon component manufacturing. HFE-7100 is a solvent used in the cleaning of parts, and FC-72 is the blowing agent of a polymeric removable foam. The presence of either FC-72 or HFE-7100 gas in weapon components can provide valuable information as to the stability of the materials. Therefore, gas standards are needed so HFE-7100 and FC-72 gas concentrations can be accurately measured. There is no current established procedure for generating gas standards of either HFE-7100 or FC-72. This report outlines the development of a method to generate gas standards ranging in concentration from 0.1 ppm to 10% by volume. These standards were then run on a Jeol GC-Mate II mass spectrometer and analyzed to produce calibration curves. We present a manifold design that accurately generates gas standards of HFE-7100 and FC-72 and a procedure that allows the amount of each to be determined.
Date: July 1, 2007
Creator: White, Michael K.; Brown, Jason R.; Thornberg, Steven Michael; Hochrein, James Michael & Irwin, Adriane Nadine
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Performance characteristics of cryofocusing GC/MS system at BWXT Pantex Plant.

Description: Ensuring the reliability of all components within a weapon system becomes increasingly important as the stockpile ages. One of the most noteworthy surveillance techniques designed to circumvent (or take place alongside) traditional D&I operations is to collect a sample of gas from within the internal atmosphere of a particular region in a weapon. While a wealth of information about the weapon may be encoded within the composition of its gas sample, our access to that information is only as good as the method used to analyze the sample. It has been shown that cryofocusing-GC/MS offers advantages in terms of sensitivity, ease of sample collection, and robustness of the equipment/hardware used. Attention is therefore focused on qualifying a cryo-GC/MS system for routine stockpile surveillance operations at Pantex. A series of tests were performed on this instrument to characterize the linearity and repeatability of its response using two different standard gas mixes (ozone precursor and TO-14) at various concentrations. This paper outlines the methods used and the results of these tests in order to establish a baseline by which to compare future cryo-GC/MS analyses. A summary of the results is shown.
Date: July 1, 2006
Creator: Brown, Jason R.; Banet, Judith F.; Ithaca, Jerry (BWXT Pantex Plant, Amarillo, TX); Thornberg, Steven Michael & Woods, Lorelei (BWXT Pantex Plant, Amarillo, TX)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department