Transport of Methane Pellets for Advanced Cold Moderators

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-03ER83634
Agency Tracking Number: 73071S03-I
Amount: $746,752.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: 14
Solicitation Number: DOE/SC-0059
Small Business Information
Cryogenic Applications F, Inc.
450 Bacon Springs Lane, Clinton, TN, 37716
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Christopher Foster
 Dr.
 (865) 435-5433
 cafoster@attg.net
Business Contact
 Christopher Foster
Title: Dr.
Phone: (865) 435-5433
Email: cafoster@attg.net
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
73071-Existing and planned neutron facilities, such as the Spallation Neutron Source, generate pulses of cold neutrons for materials research. The efficiency of the beam line components, which convert the fast neutrons to a cold neutron beam, determines the usefulness of the facility. Existing solid methane moderators have a high efficiency, but they can¿t be scaled to work on planned high power sources. However, a cold moderator using solid methane pellets should be capable of high power operation, and the technology for producing methane pellets has recently been demonstrated. This project will extend the technology to allow circulation of the pellets into and out of a remote moderator cell. In Phase I, methods were developed to improve the flow characteristics of the pellets, which tend to stick together. A cryogenic rotary drum hopper was developed, which allowed the pellets to be stored without sticking. In Phase II, a full scale cryogenic pellet storage and transport system will be developed. The system will include a larger rotary drum with an indirect pellet cooling system. A pellet discharge chute will be designed to rapidly transfer the pellets to a remote prototype moderator. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: Compared to a conventional hydrogen moderator, a methane moderator using this cryogenic pellet technology would double the output of cold neutrons. The pellet technology also could be used for improving commercial dry ice pellet blasting machines.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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