Innovative preparation route for uranium carbide using citric acid as a carbon source

Daniele Salvato, Jean-Francois Vigier, Olivier Dieste Blanco, Laura Martel, Joseph Somers, Václav Tyrpekl

    Research outputpeer-review


    The preparation of uranium carbide (UC) by carbothermal reduction and its sintering into dense pellets by conventional means require high temperatures for long periods. We have developed a preparation route yielding fine UC powder with significantly increased sinterability. At first, a mixture of nanocrystalline UO2 embedded in amorphous carbon (nano-UO2/C) was obtained by thermal decomposition of a gel containing solubilised uranyl nitrate and citric acid. Later, the nano-UO2/C powder was treated in a conventional furnace or in a modified spark plasma sintering facility at elevated temperatures (≥1200 °C) in order to obtain uranium carbide powder. The effects of initial composition, temperature, gas/vacuum atmosphere and the overall reaction kinetics are reported.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)16710-16717
    Number of pages8
    JournalCeramics International
    Issue number15
    StatePublished - 15 Nov 2016

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