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Bob Higgins to test HCl / ultrasound treated AH50 Ni frozen powder...[UPDATE#1 - Experiment is LIVE!]

Written by Robert Greenyer on .

In his own words

"I have started the 32 hour calibration sequence using the reactor tube that I will be filling with fuel on Wednesday (5/3) or Thursday 5/4) for the next fueled run. I am experimenting with the fuel preparation now. The plan is to etch the Hunter AH50 Ni powder in 15% concentrated HCl (by mass, about 10°Baume') at 50°C in ultrasound. Then the powder will be rinsed (multiple times) in degassed H2O, drained, and frozen in an attempt to fracture the particles. Following that, the powder will be heated and vacuum dried. It will be mixed with 10% LiAlH4 as the fuel. The protocol will include heating to 1200°C and at some point reducing the pressure to see if Li boiling can be stimulated.

The data for the calibration and this experiment will go into this Google Drive folder."

Experiment discussion


UPDATE#1 - Experiment is LIVE! 

"The 15% HCl etchant was first heated to 50°C in a water bath in the ultrasonic tank. The photos show the use of a Kodak process control thermometer for measuring water temperature because the setpoint by the ultrasonic cleaner is highly inaccurate. After 1 hour coming to temperature, 7g of AH50 Ni powder was slowly added to the etchant and the ultrasound was turned on for 10 minutes (120W). At the end of this 10 minutes, the flask was removed and the etchant was leaf green. The flask was placed in a fixture having a magnet at the bottom of the flask to hold the Ni powder and the etchant was drained into a bucket of water (ALWAYS add acid to water - NEVER add water to acid!). 25ml of degassed water was added, the flask swirled, placed in fixture, and drained again - this was repeated twice. Next, 25ml of the degassed water was added and the flask was put back in the ultrasound bath for 2 minutes, and then drained as before - this was done 5 times. Finally, the flask was wiped dry, stoppered and placed in a ziplok bag and put in my freezer. Tomorrow I will dry the powder and hopefully be ready to load it into the reactor tube that is now performing a calibration."

"The experiment will last about 46 hours. I am going to try a program I created that will automatically copy the data files to the Google drive as they are ready. Hopefully, there will be a steady stream of data throughout the night. This run includes the features that we have discussed. It will have heating to 1200°C, drop-backs to 900°C with a short transition back to 1200°C, and at 1200°C there will be a pressure reduction to low pressure to see if I can make Li boiling occur. "


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