June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Nuclear and Radiological
13.937.1 - 13.937.7
Nuclear Hydrogen -Chemical and Nuclear Engineers’ Dream
Nuclear energy is one of the practical energy sources to produce CO2 free hydrogen. This nuclear hydrogen technology requires both Nuclear and Chemical Engineers. At an undergraduate level this concept of bringing chemical engineers and nuclear engineers to work together in future energy technology is exciting and has created interest in chemical engineering undergraduate students to participate in research activities in Nuclear Engineering discipline. An account of projects on nuclear hydrogen area carried out by chemical engineering undergraduates in nuclear engineering school is presented. The projects were on thermochemical water splitting, sodium borohydride hydrolysis, and fuel cell modeling. The paper highlights the experience in handling the undergraduate students for research participation and presents students’ experience working in nuclear engineering program. The undergraduate participation in research provided unique opportunity in recruiting students in the nuclear engineering program for graduate program.
Since the beginning of the nuclear industry, early 1960s, chemical engineering has been a significant discipline within the U. S. nuclear industry1. Traditionally the chemical engineers have made and now continue to make significant contribution in the areas of fuel fabrication, isotope separation, fuel reprocessing, and waste management. Chemical engineers monitor the chemistry of the coolant and cleanup systems in an operating nuclear plant. Thus since 1970s Nuclear Chemical Engineering has emerged as an important area that links chemical engineering processes in nuclear industry.
Very recently new technologies are being considered where the nuclear power can be used to produce hydrogen without much CO2 emission to the environment2. The hydrogen is considered as a clean and efficient energy carrier and has flexibility in terms of production by number of primary sources. There are number of thermochemical or thermoelectrochemical processes available for splitting water in to hydrogen and oxygen.
In nuclear industry currently there is great interest in new reactor design specifically operating at high temperature in the range of 500-1000C. The high temperature reactor have high thermal efficiency and have other beneficial features such as fuel proliferation resistance and application in hydrogen generation with thermo-chemical and thermo-electrochemical processes. The high temperature gas cooled reactors are one of the few new generation reactor designs3, 4.
The new reactor design and new technology of thermochemical processes to generate hydrogen bring chemical and nuclear engineers in novel setting. It is expected that the undergraduates will be excited to learn and to participate in research and development activities in this new area. A research initiative was launched to attract undergraduate students to participate in the nuclear
Revankar, S. (2008, June), Nuclear Hydrogen Chemical And Nuclear Engineers’ Dream Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/4389
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