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Effect of Impurities on the Performance of a Pd-Ag Diffuser

Gregg A. Morgan, Jr.

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 60 / Number 4 / November 2011 / Pages 1367-1370

Detritiation and Isotope Separation / Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Tritium Science and Technology (Part 2)

A commercially fabricated diffuser purchased from Johnson-Matthey, Inc. was evaluated for performance characterization testing at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL). Different impurities are often present in the feed streams of the process diffusers, but the effect of these impurities on the diffuser performance is currently unknown. Various impurities were introduced into the feed stream of the diffuser at various levels ranging from 0.5% to 10% of the total flow in order to determine the effect that these impurities have on the permeation of hydrogen through the palladium-silver membrane. The introduction of various impurities into the feed stream of the diffuser had a minimal effect on the overall permeation of hydrogen through the Pd-Ag membrane. Of the four impurities introduced into the feed stream, carbon monoxide (CO) was the only impurity that showed any evidence of causing a reduction in the amount of hydrogen permeating through the Pd-Ag membrane. The hydrogen permeation returned to its baseline level after the CO was removed from the feed stream. There were no lasting effects of the CO exposure on the ability of the membrane to effectively separate hydrogen from the non-hydrogen species in the gas stream under the conditions tested.

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