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Description: Plants utilize carbon by partitioning the reduced carbon obtained through photosynthesis into different compartments and into different chemistries within a cell and subsequently allocating such carbon to sink tissues throughout the plant. Since the phytohormones auxin and cytokinin are known to influence sink strength in tissues such as roots (Skoog & Miller 1957, Nordstrom et al. 2004), we hypothesized that altering the expression of genes that regulate auxin-mediated (e.g., AUX/IAA or ARF transcription factors) or cytokinin-mediated (e.g., RR transcription factors) control of root growth and development would impact carbon allocation and partitioning belowground (Fig. 1 - Renewal Proposal). Specifically, the ARF, AUX/IAA and RR transcription factor gene families mediate the effects of the growth regulators auxin and cytokinin on cell expansion, cell division and differentiation into root primordia. Invertases (IVR), whose transcript abundance is enhanced by both auxin and cytokinin, are critical components of carbon movement and therefore of carbon allocation. Thus, we initiated comparative genomic studies to identify the AUX/IAA, ARF, RR and IVR gene families in the Populus genome that could impact carbon allocation and partitioning. Bioinformatics searches using Arabidopsis gene sequences as queries identified regions with high degrees of sequence similarities in the Populus genome. These Populus sequences formed the basis of our transgenic experiments. Transgenic modification of gene expression involving members of these gene families was hypothesized to have profound effects on carbon allocation and partitioning.
Date: October 11, 2007
Creator: Davis, J. M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Thermophilic Gram-Positive Biocatalysts for Biomass Conversion to Ethanol

Description: Production of energy from renewable sources is receiving increased attention due to the finite nature of fossil fuels and the environmental impact associated with the continued large scale use of fossil energy sources. Biomass, a CO2-neutral abundant resource, is an attractive alternate source of energy. Biomass-derived sugars, such as glucose, xylose, and other minor sugars, can be readily fermented to fuel ethanol and commodity chemicals. Extracellular cellulases produced by fungi are commercially developed for depolymerization of cellulose in biomass to glucose for fermentation by appropriate biocatalysts in a simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) process. Due to the differences in the optimum conditions for the activity of the fungal cellulases and the growth and fermentation characteristics of the current industrial biocatalysts, SSF of cellulose is envisioned at conditions that are not optimal for the fungal cellulase activity leading to higher than required cost of cellulase in SSF. We have isolated bacterial biocatalysts whose growth and fermentation requirements match the optimum conditions for commercial fungal cellulase activity (pH 5.0 and 50 deg. C). These isolates fermented both glucose and xylose, major components of cellulose and hemicellulose, respectively, to L(+)-lactic acid. Xylose was metabolized through the pentose-phosphate pathway by these organisms as evidenced by the fermentation profile and analysis of the fermentation products of 13C1-xylose by NMR. As expected for the metabolism of xylose by the pentose-phosphate pathway, 13C-lactate accounted for more than 90% of the total 13C-labeled products. All three strains fermented crystalline cellulose to lactic acid with the addition of fungal cellulase (Spezyme CE) (SSF) at an optimum of about 10 FPU/g cellulose. These isolates also fermented cellulose and sugar cane bagasse hemicellulose acid hydrolysate simultaneously. Based on fatty acid profile and 16S rRNA sequence, these isolates cluster with Bacillus coagulans although B. coagulans type strain, ATCC 7050, failed to utilize ...
Date: December 1, 2003
Creator: Shanmugam, K.T.; Ingram, L.O.; Maupin-Furlow, J.A.; Preston, J.F. & Aldrich, H.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Solar Thermochemical Fuels Production: Solar Thermochemical Fuel Production via a Novel Lowe Pressure, Magnetically Stabilized, Non-volatile Iron Oxide Looping Process

Description: HEATS Project: The University of Florida is developing a windowless high-temperature chemical reactor that converts concentrated solar thermal energy to syngas, which can be used to produce gasoline. The overarching project goal is lowering the cost of the solar thermochemical production of syngas for clean and synthetic hydrocarbon fuels like petroleum. The team will develop processes that rely on water and recycled CO2 as the sole feed-stock, and concentrated solar radiation as the sole energy source, to power the reactor to produce fuel efficiently. Successful large-scale deployment of this solar thermochemical fuel production could substantially improve our national and economic security by replacing imported oil with domestically produced solar fuels.
Date: December 19, 2011
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tappable Pine Trees: Commercial Production of Terpene Biofuels in Pine

Description: PETRO Project: The University of Florida is working to increase the amount of turpentine in harvested pine from 4% to 20% of its dry weight. While enhanced feedstocks for biofuels have generally focused on fuel production from leafy plants and grasses, the University of Florida is experimenting with enhancing fuel production in a species of pine that is currently used in the paper pulping industry. Pine trees naturally produce around 3-5% terpene content in the wood—terpenes are the energy-dense fuel molecules that are the predominant components of turpentine. The team aims to increase the terpene storage potential and production capacity while improving the terpene composition to a point at which the trees could be tapped while alive, like sugar maples. Growth and production from these trees will take years, but this pioneering technology could have significant impact in making available an economical and domestic source of aviation and diesel biofuels.
Date: January 1, 2012
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Industrial Assessment Center

Description: Since its inception, the University of Florida Industrial Assessment Center has successfully completed close to 400 energy assessments of small to medium manufacturing facilities in Florida, southern Georgia and southern Alabama. Through these efforts, recommendations were made that would result in savings of about $5 million per year, with an implementation rate of 20-25%. Approximately 80 engineering students have worked for the UF-IAC, at least 10 of whom went on to work in energy related fields after graduation. Additionally, through the popular course in Industrial Energy Management, many students have graduated from the University of Florida with a strong understanding and support of energy conservation methods.
Date: March 5, 2007
Creator: Schaub, Dr. Diane
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

UNIVERSITY RESEARCH PROGRAM IN ROBOTICS, Final Technical Annual Report, Project Period: 9/1/04 - 8/31/05

Description: The University Research Program in Robotics (URPR) Implementation Plan is an integrated group of universities performing fundamental research that addresses broad-based robotics and automation needs of the NNSA Directed Stockpile Work (DSW) and Campaigns. The URPR mission is to provide improved capabilities of robotics science and engineering to meet the future needs of all weapon systems and other associated NNSA/DOE activities.
Date: February 15, 2006
Creator: Tulenko, James S. & III, Carl D. Crane
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

University Research Program in Robotics - "Technologies for Micro-Electrical-Mechanical Systems in directed Stockpile Work (DSW) Radiation and Campaigns", Final Technical Annual Report, Project Period 9/1/06 - 8/31/07

Description: The University Research Program in Robotics (URPR) is an integrated group of universities performing fundamental research that addresses broad-based robotics and automation needs of the NNSA Directed Stockpile Work (DSW) and Campaigns. The URPR mission is to provide improved capabilities in robotics science and engineering to meet the future needs of all weapon systems and other associated NNSA/DOE activities.
Date: December 13, 2007
Creator: Tulenko, James S. & Crane, Carl D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: The research performed by the University of Florida (UF) is directed to the development of technologies that can be utilized at a micro-scale in varied environments. Work is focused on micro-scale energy systems, visualization, and mechanical devices. This work will impact the NNSA need related to micro-assembly operations. The URPR activities are executed in a University environment, yet many applications of the resulting technologies may be classified or highly restrictive in nature. The NNSA robotics technologists apply an NNSA needs focus to the URPR research, and actively work to transition relevant research into the deployment projects in which they are involved. This provides a “Research to Development to Application” structure within which innovative research has maximum opportunity for impact without requiring URPR researchers to be involved in specific NNSA projects. URPR researchers need to be aware of the NNSA applications in order to ensure the research being conducted has relevance, the URPR shall rely upon the NNSA sites for direction.
Date: November 30, 2006
Creator: Tulenko, James S.; Schoenfeld, Dean; Hintenlang, David; Crane, Carl; Ridgeway, Shannon; Santiago, Jose et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final Scientific/Technical Report: Breakthrough Design and Implementation of Many-Body Theories for Electron Correlation

Description: This report discusses the following highlights of the project: (1) grid-based Hartree-Fock equation solver; (2) explicitly correlated coupled-cluster and perturbation methods; (3) anharmonic vibrational frequencies and vibrationally averaged NMR and structural parameters of FHF; (4) anharmonic vibrational frequencies and vibrationally averaged structures of hydrocarbon combustion species; (5) anharmonic vibrational analysis of the guanine-cytosine base pair; (6) the nature of the Born-Oppenheimer approximation; (7) Polymers and solids Brillouin-zone downsampling - the modulo MP2 method; (8) explicitly correlated MP2 for extended systems; (9) fast correlated method for molecular crystals - solid formic acid; and (10) fast correlated method for molecular crystals - solid hydrogen fluoride.
Date: January 3, 2012
Creator: Hirata, So
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Genetic dissection of bioenerrgy traits in sorghum

Description: Specific Objectives: 1. To identify the gene(s) underlying a major QTL for stem sugar concentration located on chromosome 3. 2. To identify QTL for stem juice volume and stalk sugar concentration and to identify the underlying genes. 3. To classify 60 novel sorghum bmr mutants from the USDA TILLING population in allelic groups based on cell wall chemistry and allelism tests. 4. To select representative bmr mutants from each allelic group and selected NIR spectral mutants for their potential value as feedstock for ethanol production. 5. To clone and characterize those Bmr genes that represent loci other than Bmr12 and Bmr6 using a mapping and a candidate gene approach. Objective 1 The experiments for this objective are largely complete and the data have been analyzed. Data interpretation and follow-up experiments are still in progress. A manuscript is in preparation (Vermerris et al.; see publication list for full details). The main results are: 1) 16 cDNA libraries were prepared and sequenced at Cornell University. The libraries represent internode tissue and flag leaf tissue at booting, internode tissue and peduncle at soft-dough stage, from two plants per sampling time with the Rio allele for the QTL on chromosome 3, and two plants with the BTx623 allele on chromosome 3 (4 tissues x 2 genotypes x 2 replicates) 2) 480 million 86-nucleotide reads were generated from four lanes of Illuminia HiSeqII 3) 74% of the reads could be mapped to the sorghum transcriptome, indicative of good sequence quality 4) Of the 216 genes within the QTL, 17 genes were differentially expressed among plants with and without the Rio QTL. None of these 17 genes had obvious roles in sucrose metabolism 5) Clustering algorithms identified a group of 721 co-expressed genes. One of these genes is a sucrose synthase gene. This cluster also contains ...
Date: June 15, 2012
Creator: Vermerris, Wilfred; Kresovich, Stephen; Murray, Seth; Pedersen, Jeffery; Rooney, William & Sattler, Scott.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: The carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases (CCD) catalyze synthesis of a variety of apo-carotenoid secondary metabolites in plants, animals and bacteria. In plants, the reaction catalyzed by the 11, 12, 9-cis-epoxy carotenoid dioxygenase (NCED) is the first committed and key regulated step in synthesis of the plant hormone, abscisic acid (ABA). ABA is a key regulator of plant stress responses and has critical functions in normal root and seed development. The molecular mechanisms responsible for developmental control of ABA synthesis in plant tissues are poorly understood. Five of the nine CCD genes present in the Arabidopsis genome encode NCED's involved in control of ABA synthesis in the plant. This project is focused on functional analysis of these five AtNCED genes as a key to understanding developmental regulation of ABA synthesis and dissecting the role of ABA in plant development. For this purpose, the project developed a comprehensive set of gene knockouts in the AtNCED genes that facilitate genetic dissection of ABA synthesis. These mutants were used in combination with key molecular tools to address the following specific objectives: (1) the role of ABA synthesis in root development; (2) developmental control of ABA synthesis in seeds; (3) analysis of ATNCED over-expressers; (4) preliminary crystallography of the maize VP14 protein.
Date: January 10, 2012
Creator: R, MCCARTY D
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ultrahigh Specific Impulse Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

Description: Research on nuclear thermal propulsion systems (NTP) have been in forefront of the space nuclear power and propulsion due to their design simplicity and their promise for providing very high thrust at reasonably high specific impulse. During NERVA-ROVER program in late 1950's till early 1970's, the United States developed and ground tested about 18 NTP systems without ever deploying them into space. The NERVA-ROVER program included development and testing of NTP systems with very high thrust (~250,000 lbf) and relatively high specific impulse (~850 s). High thrust to weight ratio in NTP systems is an indicator of high acceleration that could be achieved with these systems. The specific impulse in the lowest mass propellant, hydrogen, is a function of square root of absolute temperature in the NTP thrust chamber. Therefor optimizing design performance of NTP systems would require achieving the highest possible hydrogen temperature at reasonably high thrust to weight ratio. High hydrogen exit temperature produces high specific impulse that is a diret measure of propellant usage efficiency.
Date: February 9, 2009
Creator: Charmeau, Anne; Cunningham, Brandon & Anghaie, Samim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

OSL Based Anthropomorphic Phantom and Real-Time Organ Dosimetry

Description: The overall objective of this project was the development of a dosimetry system that provides the direct measurement of organ does in real-time with a sensitivity that makes it an effective tool for applications in a wide variety of health physics applications. The system included the development of a real-time readout system for fiber optic coupled (FOC) dosimeters that is integrated with a state-of-art anthropomorphic phantom to provide instantaneous measures of organ doses throughout the phantom. The small size of the FOC detectors and optical fibers allow the sensitive volume of the detector to be located at organ centroids (or multiple locations distributed through the organ) within a tissue equivalent, anthropomorphic phantom without perturbing the tissue equivalent features of the phantom. The developed phantom/dosimetry system can be used in any environment where personnel may be exposed to gamma or x-ray radiations to provide the most accurate determinations of organ and effective doses possible to date.
Date: February 10, 2009
Creator: David E. Hintenlang, Ph.D
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final Technical Report

Description: The forest products industry consumes large amounts of energy. Understanding how genetic variation in trees actually controls the characteristics of wood, the major raw material utilized by the industry, is an opportunity for energy savings. For companies that are vertically integrated (i.e., have both tree production and processing operations), energy savings can accrue for both production and processing. Tree production demands nitrogen fertilizers, the manufacture of which is highly energy intensive. Wood processing for paper product manufacturing requires digestion and bleaching, both of which are more efficient when the lignin content of wood is reduced. This project identified genes involved in utilization of nitrogen from fertilizer, and the coupling of nitrogen demand to lignin content, establishing a framework for reducing tree nitrogen demand per unit carbon gained. This creates opportunities for genetic manipulation of trees for greater energy efficiency.
Date: March 31, 2005
Creator: Davis, John M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Atomic Emission, Absorption and Fluorescence in the Laser-induced Plasma

Description: The main result of our efforts is the development and successful application of the theoretical model of laser induced plasma (LIP) that allows a back-calculation of the composition of the plasma (and the condensed phase) based on the observable plasma spectrum. The model has an immediate experimental input in the form of LIP spectra and a few other experimentally determined parameters. The model is also sufficiently simple and, therefore, practical. It is conveniently interfaced in a graphical user-friendly form for using by students and any laboratory personnel with only minimal training. In our view, the model opens up the possibility for absolute analysis, i.e. the analysis which requires no standards and tedious calibration. The other parts of this proposal (including plasma diagnostics) were somewhat subordinate to this main goal. Plasma diagnostics provided the model with the necessary experimental input and led to better understanding of plasma processes. Another fruitful direction we pursued was the use of the correlation analysis for material identification and plasma diagnostics. Through a number of computer simulations we achieved a clear understanding of how, where and why this approach works being applied to emission spectra from a laser plasma. This understanding will certainly improve the quality of forensic and industrial analyses where fast and reliable material identification and sorting are required.
Date: January 22, 2009
Creator: Winefordner, J. D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Report of a Workshop on Parallelization of Coupled Cluster Methods

Description: The benchmark, ab initio quantum mechanical methods for molecular structure and spectra are now recognized to be coupled-cluster theory. To benefit from the transiiton to tera- and petascale computers, such coupled-cluster methods must be created to run in a scalable fashion. This Workshop, held as a aprt of the 48th annual Sanibel meeting, at St. Simns, Island, GA, addressed that issue. Representatives of all the principal scientific groups who are addressing this topic were in attendance, to exchange information about the problem and to identify what needs to be done in the future. This report summarized the conclusions of the workshop.
Date: May 8, 2008
Creator: Bartlett, Rodney J. & Deumens, Erik
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Engineering Thermotolerant Biocatalysts for Biomass Conversion to Products

Description: Lignocellulosic biomass is a promising feedstock for producing renewable chemicals and transportation fuels as petroleum substitutes. Fermentation of the cellulose in biomass in an SSF process requires that the properties of the microbial biocatalyst match the fungal cellulase activity optima for cost-effective production of products. Fermentation of the pentose sugars derived from hemicellulose in biomass is an additional asset of an ideal biocatalyst. The microbial biocatalyst used by the industry, yeast, lacks the ability to ferment pentose sugars. The optimum temperature for growth and fermentation of yeast is about 35°C. The optimum temperature for commercially available cellulase enzymes for depolymerization of cellulose in biomass to glucose for fermentation is 50-55 °C. Because of the mismatch in the temperature optima for the enzyme and yeast, SSF of cellulose to ethanol (cellulosic ethanol) with yeast is conducted at a temperature that is close to the optimum for yeast. We have shown that by increasing the temperature of SSF to 50-55 °C using thermotolerant B. coagulans, the amount of cellulase required for SSF of cellulose to products can be reduced by 3-4 –fold compared to yeast-based SSF at 35°C with a significant cost savings due to lower enzyme loading. Thermotolerant Bacillus coagulans strains ferment hemicellulose-derived pentose sugars completely to L(+)-lactic acid, the primary product of fermentation. We have developed genetic tools to engineer B. coagulans for fermentation of all the sugars in biomass to ethanol. Using these tools, we have altered the fermentation properties of B. coagulans to produce ethanol as the primary product. The thermotolerant property of B. coagulans has been shown to also lower the cellulase requirement and associated cost in SSF of cellulose to lactic acid compared to lactic acid bacteria. Lactic acid is a potential petroleum substitute for bio-based renewable plastics production. This study has led to the development ...
Date: May 20, 2010
Creator: K. T. Shanmugam, L. O. Ingram and J. A. Maupin-Furlow
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Determination of Electrochemical Performance and Thermo-Mechanical-Chemical Stability of SOFCs from Defect Modeling

Description: This research was focused on two distinct but related issues. The first issue concerned using defect modeling to understand the relationship between point defect concentration and the electrochemical, thermo-chemical and mechano-chemical properties of typical solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) materials. The second concerned developing relationships between the microstructural features of SOFC materials and their electrochemical performance. To understand the role point defects play in ceramics, a coherent analytical framework was used to develop expressions for the dependence of thermal expansion and elastic modulus on point defect concentration in ceramics. These models, collectively termed the continuum-level electrochemical model (CLEM), were validated through fits to experimental data from electrical conductivity, I-V characteristics, elastic modulus and thermo-chemical expansion experiments for (nominally pure) ceria, gadolinia-doped ceria (GDC) and yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) with consistently good fits. The same values for the material constants were used in all of the fits, further validating our approach. As predicted by the continuum-level electrochemical model, the results reveal that the concentration of defects has a significant effect on the physical properties of ceramic materials and related devices. Specifically, for pure ceria and GDC, the elastic modulus decreased while the chemical expansion increased considerably in low partial pressures of oxygen. Conversely, the physical properties of YSZ remained insensitive to changes in oxygen partial pressure within the studied range. Again, the findings concurred exactly with the predictions of our analytical model. Indeed, further analysis of the results suggests that an increase in the point defect content weakens the attractive forces between atoms in fluorite-structured oxides. The reduction treatment effects on the flexural strength and the fracture toughness of pure ceria were also evaluated at room temperature. The results reveal that the flexural strength decreases significantly after heat treatment in very low oxygen partial pressure environments; however, in contrast, fracture toughness is ...
Date: September 30, 2006
Creator: Wachsman, Eric & Duncan, Keith L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: This is the final report for the project 'Correlations in Confined Quantum Plasmas', NSF-DOE Partnership Grant DE FG02 07ER54946, 8/1/2007 - 7/30/2010. The research was performed in collaboration with a group at Christian Albrechts University (CAU), Kiel, Germany. That collaboration, almost 15 years old, was formalized during the past four years under this NSF-DOE Partnership Grant to support graduate students at the two institutions and to facilitate frequent exchange visits. The research was focused on exploring the frontiers of charged particle physics evolving from new experimental access to unusual states associated with confinement. Particular attention was paid to combined effects of quantum mechanics and confinement. A suite of analytical and numerical tools tailored to the specific inquiry has been developed and employed
Date: January 11, 2012
Creator: W, DUFTY J
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Development of Models to Optimize Selection of Nuclear Fuels through Atomic-Level Simulation

Description: Demonstrated that FRAPCON can be modified to accept data generated from first principles studies, and that the result obtained from the modified FRAPCON make sense in terms of the inputs. Determined the temperature dependence of the thermal conductivity of single crystal UO2 from atomistic simulation.
Date: January 26, 2009
Creator: Phillpot, Prof. Simon; Sinnott, Prof. Susan B.; Seifert, Prof. Hans & Tulenko, Prog. James
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final Report

Description: Forest products provide essential resources for human civilization, including energy and materials. In processing forest products, however, unwanted byproducts, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) are generated. The goal of this study was to develop a cost effective and reliable air pollution control system to reduce VOC and HAP emissions from pulp, paper and paperboard mills and solid wood product facilities. Specifically, this work focused on the removal of VOCs and HAPs from high volume low concentration (HVLC) gases, particularly methanol since it is the largest HAP constituent in these gases. Three technologies were developed and tested at the bench-scale: (1) A novel composite material of activated carbon coated with a photocatalyst titanium dioxide (TiO{sub 2}) (referred to as TiO{sub 2}-coated activated carbon or TiO{sub 2}/AC), (2) a novel silica gel impregnated with nanosized TiO{sub 2} (referred to as silica-titania composites or STC), and (3) biofiltration. A pilot-scale reactor was also fabricated and tested for methanol removal using the TiO{sub 2}/AC and STC. The technical feasibility of removing methanol with TiO{sub 2}/AC was studied using a composite synthesized via a spay desiccation method. The removal of methanol consists of two consecutive operation steps: removal of methanol using fixed-bed activated carbon adsorption and regeneration of spent activated carbon using in-situ photocatalytic oxidation. Regeneration using photocatalytic oxidation employed irradiation of the TiO{sub 2} catalyst with low-energy ultraviolet (UV) light. Results of this technical feasibility study showed that photocatalytic oxidation can be used to regenerate a spent TiO{sub 2}/AC adsorbent. A TiO{sub 2}/AC adsorbent was then developed using a dry impregnation method, which performed better than the TiO{sub 2}/AC synthesized using the spray desiccation method. The enhanced performance was likely a result of the better distribution of TiO2 particles on the activated carbon surface. A method for pore ...
Date: June 30, 2007
Creator: Mazyck, David W.; Lindner, Angela & CY Wu, Rick Sheahan, Ashok Jain
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final Report: Super Instruction Architecture for Scalable Parallel Computations

Description: The most advanced methods for reliable and accurate computation of the electronic structure of molecular and nano systems are the coupled-cluster techniques. These high-accuracy methods help us to understand, for example, how biological enzymes operate and contribute to the design of new organic explosives. The ACES III software provides a modern, high-performance implementation of these methods optimized for high performance parallel computer systems, ranging from small clusters typical in individual research groups, through larger clusters available in campus and regional computer centers, all the way to high-end petascale systems at national labs, including exploiting GPUs if available. This project enhanced the ACESIII software package and used it to study interesting scientific problems.
Date: December 23, 2013
Creator: Sanders, Beverly Ann; Bartlett, Rodney & Deumens, Erik
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Separation of Nuclear Fuel Surrogates from Silicon Carbide Inert Matrix

Description: The objective of this project has been to identify a process for separating transuranic species from silicon carbide (SiC). Silicon carbide has become one of the prime candidates for the matrix in inert matrix fuels, (IMF) being designed to reduce plutonium inventories and the long half-lives actinides through transmutation since complete reaction is not practical it become necessary to separate the non-transmuted materials from the silicon carbide matrix for ultimate reprocessing. This work reports a method for that required process.l
Date: December 15, 2008
Creator: Baney, Dr. Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Innovative High Thermal Conductivity Fuel Design

Description: Uranium dioxide (UO2) is the most common fuel material in commercial nuclear power reactors. UO2 has the advantages of a high melting point, good high-temperature stability, good chemical compatibility with cladding and coolant, and resistance to radiation. The main disadvantage of UO2 is its low thermal conductivity. During a reactor’s operation, because the thermal conductivity of UO2 is very low, for example, about 2.8 W/m-K at 1000 oC [1], there is a large temperature gradient in the UO2 fuel pellet, causing a very high centerline temperature, and introducing thermal stresses, which lead to extensive fuel pellet cracking. These cracks will add to the release of fission product gases after high burnup. The high fuel operating temperature also increases the rate of fission gas release and the fuel pellet swelling caused by fission gases bubbles. The amount of fission gas release and fuel swelling limits the life time of UO2 fuel in reactor. In addition, the high centerline temperature and large temperature gradient in the fuel pellet, leading to a large amount of stored heat, increase the Zircaloy cladding temperature in a lost of coolant accident (LOCA). The rate of Zircaloy-water reaction becomes significant at the temperature above 1200 oC [2]. The ZrO2 layer generated on the surface of the Zircaloy cladding will affect the heat conduction, and will cause a Zircaloy cladding rupture. The objective of this research is to increase the thermal conductivity of UO2, while not affecting the neutronic property of UO2 significantly. The concept to accomplish this goal is to incorporate another material with high thermal conductivity into the UO2 pellet. Silicon carbide (SiC) is a good candidate, because the thermal conductivity of single crystal SiC is 60 times higher than that of UO2 at room temperature and 30 times higher at 800 oC [3]. Silicon carbide ...
Date: October 14, 2007
Creator: Tulenko, James S. & Baney, Ronald H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department