Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

It is currently May 20, 2018 10:38 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 29 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
PostPosted: Feb 22, 2014 4:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Feb 10, 2014 10:18 am
Posts: 9
Location: Erie, Michigan USA
Eino wrote:
What would you do with something like that other than it being a nasty science project? Could you disguise it as an outside boiler, use it to heat hot water and then your house?


Eino,
I just call it a Heater, that sits in my basement next to my HVAC equipment. The "Heater", about the size of a small thermos bottle?, kind of sticks down in my 30 gal steel drum that is filled with 350 lb. of Lithium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrate salts (This eutectic melts at around 400F, w/105 BTU/lb. latent heat) There are a couple of 1/2" K-copper coils, (50' ea.) immersed in the salt. I pump 1-GPM of water through one of the coils that flashes to steam and drives a 2-cylinder, D-Slide valve steam engine that turns a 3KW/h 120/240V Electric Generator.

The other coil supplies very hot water to my HVAC and hot water tank. Eventually I want to scale up to supply all the electric power, heat, and drying required of an Aquaponics Greenhouse complex, growing 2 million heads of lettuce and 1 million pounds of Tilapia fish per year. 30% of the food given to the fish comes out as waste, that can be dried, using the waste heat from the "Heater", and used as plant fertilizer, or pelletized and sold as a 8K BTU/lb. wood stove fuel. The ROI should be around 3 years.

The way I see it, I'm just mimicking Mother Nature. I could call it "Volcano in a can". The same reaction that heats our Earth's core, a Thorium/Uranium fission process, is the same process in a thorium heater. I think the heater may be a one use, returnable unit that lasts a year or so? I'm a long way from criticality. Still collecting parts and studying Nuclear Engineering books, trying to figure out what size my Hastelloy container should be. I'm just doing one step at a time. I'd like to operate "Open-source" and still make a little money selling instructions and parts? My primary objective is to get my home "off grid". Whatever comes after that is just gravy.
Chuck Bagwell http://www.zerwellenergy.com


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Feb 22, 2014 7:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Feb 10, 2014 10:18 am
Posts: 9
Location: Erie, Michigan USA
Hey Guys,

Speaking of Atoms and such...Check out this link for a different perspective on the shape of an Atom: http://www.thrivemovement.com/spirit-matter-geometry-life.blog

CB


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Feb 23, 2014 10:31 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 9:18 pm
Posts: 1950
Location: Montreal
zerwell wrote:
The way I see it, I'm just mimicking Mother Nature. I could call it "Volcano in a can". The same reaction that heats our Earth's core...

Seems to me that, at the very least, you will need a LOT of chemistry skills.

Assuming you can somehow get a few tons of natural uranium, this will need to be purified to a high degree.
Not an easy task, but probably the easiest step compared to what's next, if you want a critical reactor, with a reasonable amount of fuel burnup.

For a reactor to run on natural uranium, you will need a moderator with a high ratio of neutron scattering to absorption.

Realistically, heavy water is out of the question, as is obtaining tons of pure Beryllium.

Carbon in a high density graphite form is a good moderator, but only in a pure "nuclear grade" form, that is free of the common contaminant, boron, which is a strong neutron absorber.

During the second world war, some German scientists tried to get around the problem of impure carbon by using dry ice - CO2.
Easy to get at high purity, but unfortunately very volatile -- it will evaporate even before any substantial heat is generated.

However, there are other types of oxycarbons, some of which have a boiling point well above ambient temperature.

One example is C6O6 - Ethylenetetracarboxylic dianhydride - “a pale yellow oily liquid”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethylenetetracarboxylic_dianhydride

This info page on Ethylenetetracarboxylic dianhydride,
http://www.chemicalbook.com/ProductChemicalPropertiesCB6718246_EN.htm
lists the melting point as greater than 300C.
The material is listed as a "fine chemical" used for synthesizing other organic molecules or as a reagent for high-performance polymer research.

At high power, C6O6 would slowly dissociate by radiolysis into things like CO2 and CO, but at the low power you are interested in, this would be a very slow process, likely of no consequence.

But it does involve some fancy chemistry, like I said.


Attachments:
Ethylenetetracarboxylic-anhydride-3D-spacefill.png
Ethylenetetracarboxylic-anhydride-3D-spacefill.png [ 104.75 KiB | Viewed 1163 times ]
moderator_comparison_table.jpg
moderator_comparison_table.jpg [ 72.88 KiB | Viewed 1163 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Feb 24, 2014 12:58 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mar 22, 2013 1:50 pm
Posts: 265
How do you view my plan?

a lead cooled "fast" reactor similar in design to
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperion_Power_Generation

using neutron reflector woks with a "depleated" uranium core and pure thorium mixed in also

the plan calls for core ball with steel neutron reflector hemispheres to be submerged into a 60 gallon vat of pure lead


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Feb 24, 2014 8:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Jul 14, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 5058
Jaro, that's interesting information, thanks.

In the case of oxycarbon liquids, it seems to me the carbon density would be poor, compared to graphite. That would make it very difficult to build the reactor, no? I mean it would be ginormous, I mean egantic, uhh..


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Feb 24, 2014 8:14 am 
Offline

Joined: Jul 14, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 5058
Speaking of backyard moderators, can you make natural uranium go critical on a common chemical? High purity diesel perhaps, or even heavier hydrocarbons? Too much hydrogen?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Feb 24, 2014 11:48 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 9:18 pm
Posts: 1950
Location: Montreal
Cyril R wrote:
Speaking of backyard moderators, can you make natural uranium go critical on a common chemical? High purity diesel perhaps, or even heavier hydrocarbons? Too much hydrogen?

Yes.
Unless you replace the hydrogen with deuterium -- then you're back to the same problem as heavy water.
Only oxycarbons will work.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Feb 24, 2014 11:57 am 
Offline

Joined: Feb 10, 2014 10:18 am
Posts: 9
Location: Erie, Michigan USA
NicholasJanssen wrote:
How do you view my plan?

a lead cooled "fast" reactor similar in design to
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperion_Power_Generation

using neutron reflector woks with a "depleated" uranium core and pure thorium mixed in also

the plan calls for core ball with steel neutron reflector hemispheres to be submerged into a 60 gallon vat of pure lead


Nicholas,

The design looks interesting...but if something goes hay-wire, how do you "SCRAM" it?

Chuck Bagwell


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Feb 24, 2014 12:06 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 9:18 pm
Posts: 1950
Location: Montreal
Cyril R wrote:
it seems to me the carbon density would be poor, compared to graphite.

Yes, carbon density is a bit lower.
But the oxygen is not bad as a moderator: 16 AMU versus 12 AMU.
Specifically, the number of collisions for thermalisation increases only from 114 to 150 from C12 to O16 ( compared to 18, 25 and 86 for H, D and Be respectively).

I suspect that the lattice spacing would need to be increased somewhat relative to a graphite core, increasing the moderator-to-fuel ratio -- without necessarily increasing total fuel load.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Feb 24, 2014 12:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jul 14, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 5058
Ok, though the elastic scattering of oxygen is roughly 20% worse (smaller xsection) than carbon. That makes it a bit worse still.

The much lower neutron capture does make up for it. But where do you find a high density form of oxygen?

I found one: liquid oxygen! :shock:

Hey, at least its easier than liquid helium that the fusion folks want to encase their reactor in!

This may actually be feasible. If you have a calandria reactor of low power, keeping the oxygen liquid would not be too difficult. (still way above a home and garden experiment, of course).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Feb 24, 2014 1:30 pm 
Offline

Joined: Feb 10, 2014 10:18 am
Posts: 9
Location: Erie, Michigan USA
jaro wrote:
zerwell wrote:


At high power, C6O6 would slowly dissociate by radiolysis into things like CO2 and CO, but at the low power you are interested in, this would be a very slow process, likely of no consequence.

But it does involve some fancy chemistry, like I said.


Jaro,

I thought I replied but it didn't appear here. Anyway, thanks for the info. I'll study the subject.

CB


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Feb 24, 2014 7:11 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mar 22, 2013 1:50 pm
Posts: 265
zerwell wrote:
NicholasJanssen wrote:
How do you view my plan?

a lead cooled "fast" reactor similar in design to
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperion_Power_Generation

using neutron reflector woks with a "depleated" uranium core and pure thorium mixed in also

the plan calls for core ball with steel neutron reflector hemispheres to be submerged into a 60 gallon vat of pure lead


Nicholas,

The design looks interesting...but if something goes hay-wire, how do you "SCRAM" it?

Chuck Bagwell


Well, if there is an issue, and the lead is solid, you dont have to do much, nothing can escape solid lead inside a 60 gallon drum surounded by reinforced concrete.

if the lead is liquid, all you do is pull out the reflectors ( the hemisphere neutron reflectors on the top and bottom of the core


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Feb 25, 2014 4:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Feb 10, 2014 10:18 am
Posts: 9
Location: Erie, Michigan USA
NicholasJanssen wrote:
zerwell wrote:
NicholasJanssen wrote:
How do you view my plan?

a lead cooled "fast" reactor similar in design to
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperion_Power_Generation

using neutron reflector woks with a "depleated" uranium core and pure thorium mixed in also

the plan calls for core ball with steel neutron reflector hemispheres to be submerged into a 60 gallon vat of pure lead


Nicholas,

The design looks interesting...but if something goes hay-wire, how do you "SCRAM" it?

Chuck Bagwell


Well, if there is an issue, and the lead is solid, you dont have to do much, nothing can escape solid lead inside a 60 gallon drum surounded by reinforced concrete.

if the lead is liquid, all you do is pull out the reflectors ( the hemisphere neutron reflectors on the top and bottom of the core


Nicholas,

I'll have to give that some thought. All my research so far tells me the LFTR design is the better way to go?
I've upgraded my power output requirement to 1- MW/h, thermal. I would need to run the heater for at least a year between "refuelings". I got a call today from a fish farmer who needs electric power and heat for his fish building. He has a heat load of around 3 million BTU/h. I figure I would need about 4 pounds of Th-232 (Based on an energy content of 8.5 billion BTU/pound) to last a year.

So, my question is: Does anyone know where I can get about 5 pounds of Thorium and a couple of gallons of FLIBE? Thanks!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Feb 25, 2014 4:24 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 3574
Location: Alabama
Sorry zerwell, this is silly and it isn't going to work. Thread locked.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 29 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group