Desarrollo de sensores electroquímicos en estado sólido para la determinación de tritio y litio en metales fundidos


Juhera Martí, Eduard  


Due to the increase of global energetic demand in the recent years and the prospect that this demand will raise in the future, there have been, for many years, multiple research paths focused on improving and increasing the energy generation. One of the alternatives to fossil fuels and renewable energies is nuclear energy. This energetic source can be produced through two procedures: fission and fusion. Both procedures include reactions in which the nucleus of atoms are involved. Fusion nuclear energy is an efficient and clean option that can be very promising as a future energetic source. There are several projects focused on developing this technology, one of the most important projects is ITER, which involves many countries and organizations. One of ITER’s challenges is the development of the breeding blanket. This structure will be surrounding the plasma inside the reactor. In this area is where the energetic neutrons emitted by the fusion reaction will be captured. Its energy will be used, then, to generate electrical power. Apart from this, the breeding blanket is a crucial part in the tritium regenerating cycle. Tritium will be used as fuel in the fusion reaction, but as there are not enough natural tritium sources, it will have to be generated continuously “in-situ”. Tritium monitoring inside the breeding blanket will be vital to assure the continued fuel supply to the plasma. Because of that, the development of the devices able to quantify tritium under the chemical and temperature conditions inside the blanket is needed. As nowadays there are no commercial devices able to do that, one of the main objectives of this PhD project is to develop a technology which leads to build sensors with that functionality. The developed sensors during this project contain proton conducting solid state electrolytes. These electrolytes, made of ceramic, show ionic conductivity at high temperatures. Although no tritium has been used in any experiment, the conducted assays proved that the developed sensors can be used as a quantification tool. Lithium monitoring inside the breeding blanket will also be an important part during the fusion energy generation. Lithium will be used to regenerate tritium inside the reactor in order to continuously produce energy. Tritium generation will be accomplished by neutron reaction with lithium. Thus, the other challenge in this PhD project is to start the study of lithium conducting solid state electrolytes. Synthesis, conformation and resistance tests under molten lead have been performed to some electrolyte candidates.


URL catalogue


Abellà Iglesias, Jordi  
Colominas Fuster, Sergi  


IQS SE - Química Analítica i Aplicada

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