In this distinctive lab, scientists look at catalysis and materials science problems using unique equipment and techniques to analyze complex reaction kinetics on materials.

The Catalysis & Transient Kinetics Laboratory contains two Temporal Analysis of Products, or TAP, reactor systems. TAPs use a sophisticated research technique that sheds light on a catalyst's fundamental step-by-step process. A TAP reactor can help chemists and chemical engineers understand why a new catalyst doesn't work as well in the chemical plant as it does in the lab and allows them to develop new and improved catalysts.

There are fewer than 20 TAP systems in the world and only three in the U.S. CAES now has two of the three in the U.S. Because they are based in CAES, the TAPs are readily accessible to academia and industry collaborators.


CAES Radiological Primer and Lab Orientation


Temperature Effects on Surface Wettability and Critical Heat Flux Prediction of Accident Tolerant Fuel (ATF)


Research: The goal is to investigate the temperature effects on the wettability measurements for Accident Tolerant Fuel (ATF) claddings. The project will utilize the existing surface characterization facility, Goniometer-Tensiometer.

Benefits: The wettability change is used to predict the thermal-hydraulic safety limit, Critical Heat Flux (CHF), at elevated temperatures to provide more representative data to the ATF material and thermal-hydraulics researchers.

Ramè-Hart Model 250 Goniometer-Tensiometer



Research: The Catalysis & Transient Kinetics Laboratory contains a goniometer-tensiometer that provides a broad spectrum of measurements, including static contact angle, surface energy, surface tension, and interfacial tension.

With accessories upgrades, the unit can provide additional measures, including dynamic contact angle, and surface dilatational elasticity and viscosity. The Goniometer-Tensiometer unit includes a fiber-optic illuminator, a 3-axis specimen stage with leveling, U4 Series 520 frames/second super-speed digital camera, a micro-syringe fixture for manual dispensing, and a PC with the analytical software and LCD.

Benefits: Improving wettability and surface adhesion, which has applications in materials science, nuclear reactors, heat pipes, semiconductors, filtration technology, printing, and textiles. The equipment improves predictions related to critical heat flux in steam generators, heat exchangers, and light water reactors.

Modeling and Experimental Validation of Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage System



Research: The Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage project is aimed at developing validated models for a phase change material (PCM)-based thermal battery in order to collaborate with ongoing modeling efforts at Idaho National Laboratory. The developed models will be analyzed and optimized in RAVEN to evaluate the economic potential and advantages of coupling thermal energy storage to existing clear energy generating sources. Additional studies are being conducted to study the enhancement of the effective thermal conductivity of PCMs, brought about by conductive additives.

Benefits: Accelerate the development of Nuclear-Renewable Hybrid Energy Systems.