Solid-State Combustion of Metallic Nanoparticles: New Possibilities for an Alternative Energy Carrier

[+] Author and Article Information
D. B. Beach1

Chemical Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831beachdb@ornl.gov

A. J. Rondinone

Chemical Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831beachdb@ornl.gov

B. G. Sumpter

Computer Science and Mathematics Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831

S. D. Labinov, R. K. Richards

Engineering Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831


Corresponding author.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 129(1), 29-32 (Jul 30, 2006) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2424961 History: Received November 01, 2005; Revised July 30, 2006

As an alternative to conventional methods of conveying and delivering energy in mobile applications or to remote locations, we have examined the combustion of nanostructured metal particles assembled into metal clusters. Clusters containing iron nanoparticles (50nm in diameter) were found to combust entirely in the solid state due to the high surface-to-volume ratio typical of nanoparticles. Optical temperature measurements indicated that combustion was rapid (500ms), and occurred at relatively low peak combustion temperatures (10001200K). Combustion produces a mixture of Fe(III) oxides. X-ray diffraction and gravimetric analysis indicated that combustion was nearly complete (93–95% oxidation). Oxide nanoparticles could be readily reduced at temperatures between 673K and 773K using hydrogen at 1atm pressure, and then passivated by the growth of a thin oxide layer. The nanostructuring of the particles is retained throughout the combustion–regeneration cycle. Modeling of the combustion process is in good agreement with observed combustion characteristics.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Illustration of the heterodyne temperature sensor. Note that by turning off the laser, the sensor becomes a radiometric temperature sensor.

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Figure 2

(a) TEM of Fe nanoparticles diameter ∼50nm. Defocusing is due to the magnetism of the sample. (b) TEM of combusted iron nanoparticles.

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Figure 3

X-ray diffraction patterns for iron nanoparticles before combustion (a) and for iron oxide nanoparticles following combustion (b): (●) Fe, (▾) maghemite, (∎)γ-Fe2O3+α-Fe2O3, (◆)γ-Fe2O3, (◇)α-Fe2O3

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Figure 4

Radiometry measurements (not heterodyne)—rough error estimate is +∕−100K

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Figure 5

Plot of the calculated combustion time and temperature for a disk-shaped pellet and a spherical cluster



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