Patent application title: Hydrogenation electrolysis apparatus
Wen-Chen Liao (Lungtan, TW)
Jen-Hung Chen (Lungtan, TW)
ATOMIC ENERGY COUNCIL-INSTITUTE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY RESEARCH
IPC8 Class: AC25B900FI
Class name: Electrolytic cells with heater or cooler
Publication date: 2009-01-29
Patent application number: 20090026069
Patent application title: Hydrogenation electrolysis apparatus
TROXELL LAW OFFICE PLLC
ATOMIC ENERGY COUNCIL - INSTITUTE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY RESEARCH
Origin: FALLS CHURCH, VA US
IPC8 Class: AC25B900FI
The present invention provides an apparatus for rapidly grow zirconium
hydride (ZrH2) on a Zr tube. ZrH2 is obtained through
electrolyte in a hydrogenation. The electrolyte uses As2O3 as a
catalyst to speed up the deposition of ZrH2.
1. A hydrogenation electrolysis apparatus, comprisingan electrolyte
solution, said electrolyte solution comprising an acidic solution and
arsenous oxide (As2O3);a first electrode, said first electrode
being located in said electrolyte solution, said first electrode being
made of zirconium (Zr);a second electrode, said second electrode being
located in said electrolyte solution; anda direct current (DC) power
source, said DC power source being coupled to said second electrode with
an anode of said DC power source, said DC power source being coupled to
said first electrode with a cathode of said DC power source.
2. The apparatus according to claim 1,wherein said As2O3 has a density of 0.001M.
3. The apparatus according to claim 1,wherein said acidic solution is a sulfuric acid solution.
4. The apparatus according to claim 3,wherein said sulfuric acid solution has a density of 0.5M.
5. The apparatus according to claim 1,wherein said electrolyte solution has a temperature of 85 Celsius degrees (° C.).
6. The apparatus according to claim 1,wherein said first electrode has a tube-like shape.
7. The apparatus according to claim 1,wherein said second electrode is made of platinum.
8. The apparatus according to claim 1,wherein said second electrode has a shape selected from a group consisting of tube-like and curved-plate.
9. The apparatus according to claim 1wherein said apparatus further comprises an electrolytic cell and a heater;wherein said electrolytic cell is deposed on said heater; andwherein said electrolyte solution is located in said electrolytic cell.
10. The apparatus according to claim 9,wherein said apparatus further comprises a cooler; andwherein said cooler is rounded on said electrolytic cell.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a hydrogenation; more particularly, relates to an electrolysis apparatus for speeding up a hydrogenation of zirconium hydride (ZrH2).
DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ARTS
Nuclear power is one of the most important power source nowadays. A chain reaction of U235 is utilized to release a tremendous sum of power. In general, U235 is filled in a zirconium (Zr) tube for a nuclear fission reaction. Because the Zr material has a small neutron absorption cross-section, neutron is not easily trapped by the Zr tube and thus the fission reaction continues. In the other hand, the Zr tube has a good resist to corrosion and a good mechanical strength under high temperature. Thus, the Zr tube is used as a protection for U235 material.
In a nuclear power generation, water is usually used to transfer power obtained from the nuclear fission reaction. However, the Zr tube would react with water to obtain hydrogen through an oxidation reaction, whose reaction formula is as follows:
Then, the Zr tube is processed through a hydrogenation to obtain zirconium hydride (ZrH2), whose reaction formula is as follows:
As a result, a hydrogen embrittlement is happened to the Zr tube, and crack or hole may appear to the Zr tube to leak the U235. Thus, a study on the hydrogen embrittlement of the Zr tube is an important issue. A ZrH2 layer having a different thickness must be obtained in advance for further examining the zircaloy cladding specimen.
A prior art is a gas hydrogenation process to obtain ZrH2 in a Zr tube. However, a specimen containing hydrogen with uniformity and high-density is obtained `inside` a Zr tube; and an `outside` ZrH2 layer has to be obtained in another way.
An other prior art is a hydrogenation through electrolysis. Although a great sum of hydrogen is left on the Zr tube, the time spent is too long. It becomes a big issue for this prior art on shortening the reaction time. Hence, the prior arts do not fulfill all users' requests on actual use.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The main purpose of the present invention is to speeding u p a hydrogenation of zirconium hydride (ZrH2) to obtain ZrH2 on a surface of a Zr tube.
To achieve the above purpose, the present invention is a hydrogenation electrolysis apparatus, comprising a first electrode, a second electrode, an electrolyte solution and a direct current (DC) power source, where the first electrode and the second electrode is put in the electrolyte solution; the anode of the DC power source is coupled to the second electrode and the cathode of the DC power source is coupled to the first electrode; the first electrode is made of Zr and the electrolyte solution comprises an acidic solution and As2O3 the density of As2O3 is 0.001M; the acidic solution is a sulfuric acid (H2SO4) solution and has a density of 0.5M; the electrolyte solution has a temperature of 85° C.; the first electrode has a tube shape and the second electrode has a tube shape or a curved-plate shape; the second electrode is made of platinum; and the As2O3 is functioned as a catalyst in the electrolyte solution to speed up a hydrogenation for rapidly obtaining ZrH2 on the first electrode. Accordingly, a novel hydrogenation electrolysis apparatus is obtained.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The present invention will be better understood from the following detailed descriptions of the preferred embodiments according to the present invention, taken in con junction with the accompanying drawings, in which
FIG. 1 is the view showing the first preferred embodiment according to the present invention;
FIG. 2A is the view showing the second preferred embodiment;
FIG. 2B is the view showing the first electrode;
FIG. 2C is the view showing the second electrode; and
FIG. 3 is the view showing the thickness change in ZrH2 during the deposition.
DESCRIPTIONS OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
The following descriptions of the preferred embodiments are provided to understand the features and the structures of the present invention.
Please refer to FIG. 1, which is a view showing a first preferred embodiment according to the present invention. As shown in the figure, the present invention is a hydrogenation electrolysis apparatus 100, comprising a first electrode 110, a second electrode 120, an electrolyte solution 130 and a direct current (DC) power source 140, where the first electrode 110 and the second electrode 120 are dipped in the electrolyte solution 130; the DC power source 140 is coupled to the second electrode 120 with an anode and is coupled to the first electrode 110 with a cathode; the first electrode 110 is made of zirconium (Zr); and the electrolyte solution 130 comprises an acidic solution and arsenous oxide (As2O3).
The DC power source 140 provides electrons to the first electrode for a reduction reaction to obtain hydrogen (H2); and the cathodic reaction formula is as follows:
By using As2O3 as a catalyst, a hydrogenation efficiency is enhanced; and a great sum of zirconium hydride (ZrH2) is formed on a surface of the first electrode 110, whose reaction formula is as follows:
Accordingly, the present invention is a hydrogenation electrolysis apparatus 100, which enhances a hydrogenation efficiency to rapidly form ZrH2 on a surface of an electrode.
In this preferred embodiment, a preferred density of As2O3 is about 0.001M; and, the acidic solution is preferably sulfuric acid (H2SO4), whose preferred density is about 0.5M. Yet, the acidic solution can be any strong acidic solution, like nitric acid or hydrochloric acid, whose main function is to provide hydrogen ions (H+) for a reduction reaction.
Please refer to FIG. 2A to FIG. 2C, which are a view showing a second preferred embodiment; a view showing a first electrode; and a view showing a second electrode. As shown in the figures, a hydrogenation electrolysis apparatus 200 can further comprise an electrolytic cell 250 to contain the electrolyte solution 130. For further enhancing generation of ZrH2, a temperature of a electrolyte solution 130 is adjusted to improve a hydrogenation reaction efficiency. In this preferred embodiment, a hydrogenation electrolysis apparatus 200 is similar to that of the previous preferred embodiment 100 (as shown in FIG. 1.) What differs is that the hydrogenation electrolysis apparatus 200 of this preferred embodiment further comprises a heater 260 to heat up an electrolyte solution. Besides, shapes of a first electrode 210, a second electrode 220 and a electrolytic cell 250 of this preferred embodiment are somewhat different from those of the previous preferred embodiment 100, 120, 150.
The electrolyte solution 130 is set in the electrolytic cell 250, and the electrolytic cell 250 is deposed on the heater 260. The heater 260 heats up the electrolyte solution 130 to maintain the electrolyte solution 130 at the best temperature for the reaction. In this preferred embodiment, when the electrolyte solution 130 is at 85° C. and a current density provided by a DC power source is 70 milli-ampere per square centimeter (mA/cm2), the hydrogenation electrolysis apparatus 200 obtains the best ZrH2 generation speed.
In addition, the first electrode 210 and the second electrode 220 can have tube shapes, where the first electrode 210 is located in the second electrode 220. The first electrode 210 and the second electrode 220 can have other shapes, like curved-plate shapes. Furthermore, the second electrode 220 is made of platinum, or other noble meta like gold (Au) or silver (Ag).
Because the electrolyte solution 130 is at a high temperature near a boiling temperature, the electrolyte solution 130 continues hydrogenating and further affects the density of As2O3 and the sulfuric solution. Please refer to FIG. 2A. To avoid the previous problem, the hydrogenation electrolysis apparatus 200 further comprises a cooler 270; and, the electrolytic cell 250 comprises a main body 252 and a tube 254. Therein, the tube 254 is connected with the main body 252 and is located above the main body 252; and the cooler 270 is surrounded on the tube 254.
The cooler 270 has a water inlet 272 and a water outlet 274, where a cooling liquid 276 is inputted from the water inlet 272 and outputted to the water outlet 274. When the electrolyte solution 130 is evaporated to pass through the tube 254, the cooling liquid 276 takes away vapor energy and the vapor is condensed to be flowed back to the electrolyte solution 130 along the inner wall of the tube 254 to stabilize the density of the As2O3 and the sulfuric acid solution.
Please refer to FIG. 3, which is a view showing a thickness change of ZrH2 during the deposition. As shown in the figure, a horizontal axis indicates electrification time and a vertical axis indicates the thickness of ZrH2 deposited. When the sulfuric acid solution has a density of 0.5M, the electrolyte solution has a temperature of 85° C. and the current density is 70 mA/cm2, a solution is added with 0.001 M of a catalyst of As2O3 while another solution is added with no catalyst.
Under the same electrification time, the thickness of ZrH2 obtained with As2O3 31 as the catalyst is twice as thick as that obtained without As2O3 32. Thus, the present invention has a better ZrH2 generating speed, where the set without As2O3 32 obtains a thickness of ZrO2 for 34 μm (micrometer) in 15 days and the set with As2O3 31 obtains a thickness of ZrO2 for 37 μm in only 3 days. In a word, it saves 80% of time for depositing ZrH2 having the same thickness by using the present invention. Or, in another word, it saves 80% of power waste for a DC power source by using the set with As2O3.
To sum up, the present invention is a hydrogenation electrolysis apparatus, having the following advantage:
(1) A deposition of ZrH2 on a Zr tube is greatly enhanced in speed by adding As2O3 as a catalyst.
(2) On depositing the same thickness of ZrH2, time used is saved for more than a half and thus power waste is reduced.
The preferred embodiments herein disclosed are not intended to unnecessarily limit the scope of the invention. Therefore, simple modifications or variations belonging to the equivalent of the scope of the claims and the instructions disclosed herein for a patent are all within the scope of the present invention.
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