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Electrodissolution studies of 304 stainless steel in sodium nitrate electrolyte

Description: To explore the impact of a wide range of operating parameters upon 304 stainless steel (SS) dissolution in sodium nitrate (NaNO{sub 3}) electrolyte, the staff of Engineering Science Applications-Energy and Process Engineering performed a series of beaker experiments. The variables that the authors explored included NaNO{sub 3} concentration, chromate concentration, pH, stirring rate, and current density. They adjusted the run length to obtain approximately 10 mg/cm{sup 2} metal removal so that they could compare surface finishes under similar test conditions. Key findings may be summarized as follows. Current efficiency during dissolution depends most strongly upon current density and electrolyte concentration. At 0.05 A/cm{sup 2}, current density is more dependent upon chromium concentration than they previously thought. They obtained the best surface finish in a classical electropolishing regime at current densities above 1.5 A/cm{sup 2}. Mirror-like finishes were obtained at near 100% current efficiency. At 0.05 a/cm{sup 2} they obtained reasonable surface finishes, particularly at lower electrolyte concentration. Current efficiency was low (30%). At intermediate current densities, they obtained the worst surface finishes, that is, surfaces with severe pitting. Also, they explored preferential attack of the weld zone during electrodissolution of 304 stainless steel cans. Electrodissolution removed approximately twice as much material from cans with unshielded weld zones as from cans with shielded weld zones. The following implications are apparent. While operation above 1 A/cm{sup 2} yields the best surface finish at 100% current efficiency, equipment size and power feedthrough limitations reduce the attractiveness of this option. Because other Los Alamos researchers, obtained more favorable results with the sulfate electrolyte, the authors recommend no further work for the sodium nitrate electrolyte system.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Weisbrod, K.R.; Trujillo, V.L. & Martinez, H.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Through-the-electrode model of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell with independently measured parameters

Description: A one dimensional model for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell was developed which makes use of independently measured parameters for predicting single cell performance. Optimization of catalyst layer formulation and properties are explored. Impact of temperature and cathode pressure upon system performance is investigated.
Date: September 1, 1995
Creator: Weisbrod, K.R.; Grot, S.A. & Vandergborgh, N.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Through-the-electrode model of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell with independently measured parameters

Description: A one dimensional model for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell was developed which makes use of independently measured parameters for predicting single cell performance. Optimization of catalyst layer formulation and properties are explored. Impact of temperature and cathode pressure upon system performance was investigated.
Date: May 1, 1995
Creator: Weisbrod, K.R.; Grot, S.A. & Vanderborgh, N.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ultrafiltration evaluation with depleted uranium oxide

Description: Scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory Plutonium Facility are using electrodissolution in neutral to alkaline solutions to decontaminate oralloy parts that have surface plutonium contamination. Ultrafiltration of the electrolyte stream removes precipitate so that the electrolyte stream to the decontamination fixture is precipitate free. This report describes small-scale laboratory ultrafiltration experiments that the authors performed to determine conditions necessary for full-scale operation of an ultrafiltration module. Performance was similar to what they observed in the ferric hydroxide system. At 12 psi transmembrane pressure, a shear rate of 12,000 sec{sup {minus}1} was sufficient to sustain membrane permeability. Ultrafiltration of uranium(VI) oxide appears to occur as easily as ultrafiltration of ferric hydroxide. Considering the success reported in this study, the authors plan to add ultrafiltration to the next decontamination system for oralloy parts.
Date: March 1, 1998
Creator: Weisbrod, K.R.; Schake, A.R.; Morgan, A.N.; Purdy, G.M.; Martinez, H.E. & Nelson, T.O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Transpassive electrodissolution of depleted uranium in alkaline electrolytes

Description: To aid in removal of oralloy from the nuclear weapons stockpile, scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory Plutonium Facility are decontaminating oralloy parts by electrodissolution in neutral to alkaline electrolytes composed of sodium nitrate and sodium sulfate. To improve the process, electrodissolution experiments were performed with depleted uranium to understand the effects of various operating parameters. Sufficient precipitate was also produced to evaluate the feasibility of using ultrafiltration to separate the uranium oxide precipitates from the electrolyte before it enters the decontamination fixture. In preparation for the experiments, a potential-pH diagram for uranium was constructed from thermodynamic data for fully hydrated species. Electrodissolution in unstirred solutions showed that uranium dissolution forms two layers, an acidic bottom layer rich in uranium and an alkaline upper layer. Under stirred conditions results are consistent with the formation of a yellow precipitate of composition UO{sub 3}{center_dot}2H{sub 2}O, a six electron process. Amperometric experiments showed that current efficiency remained near 100% over a wide range of electrolytes, electrolyte concentrations, pH, and stirring conditions.
Date: March 1, 1998
Creator: Weisbrod, K.R.; Schake, A.R.; Morgan, A.N.; Purdy, G.M.; Martinez, H.E. & Nelson, T.O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Decontaminating the DOE-STD-3013 Inner Container to Meet 10-CFR-835 Appendix D Requirements

Description: The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has published a standard that specifies the criteria for preparation and packaging of plutonium metals and oxides for safe long-term storage (DOE-STD-3013-96). This standard is followed for the packaging of materials resulting from the disassembly of nuclear weapons at Los Alamos National Laboratory under the Advanced Retirement and Integrated Extraction System (ARIES) project. Declassified plutonium metal or oxide material from the ARES project is packaged into doubly contained and welded type 304L stainless steel containers that comply with the DOE standard. The 3013-96 standard describes requirements for maximum contamination limits on the outer surface of the sealed inner container. These limits are 500 dpm per 100 cm2 for direct measurements and 20 dpm per 100 cm2 for removable contamination. For containers filled, welded, and handled inside a highly contaminated glovebox line, these limits are difficult to obtain. Simple handling within the line is demonstrated to contaminate surfaces from 10,000 to 10,000,000 dpm alpha per 100 cm2. To routinely achieve contamination levels below the maximum contamination levels specified by the 3013-96 standard within a processing operation, a decontamination step must be included. In the ARIES line, this decontamination step is an electrolytic process that produces a controlled uniform etch of the container surfaces. Decontamination of the 3013-96 compliant ARIES inner container is well demonstrated. Within 30 to 50 minutes electrolysis time, tixed contamination is reduced to hundreds of dpm generally occurring only at electrode contact points and welds. Removable contamination is routinely brought to non-detectable levels. The total process time for the cycle (includes electrolysis, rinse, and dry stages) is on the order of 1.5 to 2 hours per container. The ARIES inner container decontamination system highly automated and consists of a plumbing loop, electronic controls and process monitors, and a decontamination chamber or ...
Date: March 3, 1999
Creator: Martinez, H.E.; Nelson, T.O.; Rivera, Y.M.; Wedman, D.E. & Weisbrod, K.R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department