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Some Comments on the Possibility of Thermodynamically Equilibrating Waste Organic Materials with Nuclear Devices

David R. Safrany

Nuclear Technology

Volume 12 / Number 1 / September 1971 / Pages 119-126


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Nuclear explosions contained underground may be a way to produce hydrogen commercially from common waste organic materials. The idea is to use the explosion to heat the wastes to 2000°C or higher, temperatures at which hydrogen and car-bon monoxide are produced. Carbon monoxide can subsequently be used to obtain tritium-free additional hydrogen by oxidizing it with steam. Calculations are based on the pertinent thermodynamic equilibria, kinetics, and energy requirements.

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