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Ceramic Membranes and Materials

Ceramic research
Dense ceramic membranes are developed to separate hydrogen in a non-galvanic mode from hydrogen-containing gaseous mixtures such as products from coal gasification, natural gas partial oxidation, and water gas shift reaction.

The Ceramics Section investigates the synthesis, fabrication, and characterization of ceramic materials to optimize their properties for practical engineering applications.  Because of concerns over global climate change due to carbon dioxide emissions, hydrogen is considered the future fuel of choice for both the electric power and transportation industries.  The Ceramics Section is developing dense ceramic membranes for production and purification of hydrogen from fossil and renewable resources. 

Hybrid vehicles require a reduction in the size and weight of power electronic modules. To meet these needs, the Ceramics Section is developing high-dielectric-constant thin-film ceramic capacitors for power electronic systems.

The novel room-temperature-setting chemically bonded ceramic known as “Ceramicrete” has been developed in the Ceramics Section for stabilization of a wide range of DOE waste streams (such as contaminated ashes, salt cakes, and sludges).  Ceramicrete also holds promise for treating waste streams generated by the utility, chemical, and defense industries. Several mixed wastes from DOE facilities such as the Savannah River Site, Fernald, Rocky Flats, Argonne, and Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory have been successfully stabilized with Ceramicrete. The process has been scaled up to stabilize actual wastes; collaborations with private industry are ongoing to demonstrate the stabilization of waste streams.  These phosphate-based materials have found other applications, for example, in the waste recycling, oil-well borehole sealing, and biomedical fields.

Ceramic membranes and materials research consists of three main areas:

July 2009


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