DSC Analysis of Liquid Sodium-Silica Reaction.
Sodium-cooled fast reactors, used in the nuclear power industry, are typically built with steel-lined concrete. In the case of a structural failure, the liquid sodium coolant could potentially leak out and react with the concrete. This article (J. Therm. Anal. Calorim. 2015, 121, 45) looks at kinetic studies performed on the reaction of sodium with silica (SiO2) using differential scanning calorimetry. Samples of the reaction were run in open stainless-steel crucibles at different heating rates using a DSC within an argon glovebox. From the DSC data, five reaction stages were separated out using statistical deconvolution, and kinetic parameters were calculated using the Kissinger and Ozawa methods. An interesting point about the experimental setup was the use of a videoscope with an optical fiber cable inserted into the sample crucible for viewing the sample as the reaction progresses. This allowed for a better understanding and characterization of the different reaction stages.Certainly something I had not considered (that hot sodium and concrete could react), although it certainly seems reasonable.
It's also interesting to me that the article talks about using a "videoscope" to view the sample as the reaction progresses. I am intrigued by the possibility of sticking cameras in places we don't typically see them, i.e. inside a lab reactor or a plant reactor. I haven't heard about too many places where people are doing that, though - readers?
1. Brown, D.B.; Ironside, M.D.; Shaw, S.M. "Safety Notables: Information from the Literature." Org. Process. Res. Dev. DOI: 10.1021/acs.oprd.6b00013