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Investigation of water adsorption on metal oxide surfaces under conditions representative of PuO2 storage containers.

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 February 2012

Patrick Murphy
Engineering Department, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YR, UK
Colin Boxall
Engineering Department, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YR, UK
Robin Taylor
Central Laboratory, B170, National Nuclear Laboratories, Sellafield, Seascale, Cumbria, CA20 1PG, UK
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We have developed a QCM (Quartz Crystal Microbalance) based method for direct gravimetric determination of water adsorption on PuO2 surrogate surfaces, especially CeO2, under conditions representative of those in a typical PuO2 storage can. In this application, the method of transduction of the QCM relies upon the linear relationship between the resonant frequency of piezoelectrically active quartz crystals and the mass adsorbed on the crystal surface. The spurious effect of high temperatures on the resonant frequency of coated QCM crystals has been compensated for by modeling the temperature dependence of the frequency response of the surrogate coated-QCM crystal in the absence of water. Preliminary results indicate that water is readily adsorbed from the vapor phase into porous metal oxide structures by capillary condensation, an observation that may have important ramifications for water uptake within the packed powder beds that may obtain in PuO2 storage cans.

Research Article
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2012

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