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Pyrochemical Research and Operations

The Pyrochemical Research and Operations (PyRO) lab explores unique chemistry at high temperatures to develop reliable sensors and sustainable processes for the production of energy and critical materials

Tyler named among winners of Innovations in nuclear technology R&D competition

Tyler, a senior undergraduate research assistant in the PyRO lab, was named one of the winners in the Innovation in Nuclear Technology R&D competition hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, Office of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Supply Chain. He was awarded for his publication on concentration measurements in molten salt, which is accessible for free at this link. In this competition, Tyler's work was compared against publications on nuclear technology across the nation. His work not only compared well but was award as winner in a category open to graduate students. A remarkable accomplishment! Congratulations, Tyler! You can learn more about the Innovation in Nuclear Technology R&D competition by clicking here.

Mark Successfully Defends Thesis

Mark Schvaneveldt was the first student to join the PyRO research group and earned his Master's degree this August. He successfully defended his thesis in July on a novel method to generate chlorine gas free of oxygen and moisture for producing and purifying chloride salts. Congratulations to Mark Schvaneveldt! He started his job at Argonne National Laboratory shortly after defending. Mark is a dedicated researcher and made impactful contributions in setting up and developing the PyRO research lab and group. Thank you, Mark, for your consistent effort and helpful attitude. Good luck on the next step in your career.

A powerful tool in identifying unknown species in molten salts

We are proud to announce that Ranon Fuller's careful and systematic work is now published in one of the top electrochemistry journals, Electrochimica Acta. During the course of his work, he received assistance from Tyler Williams and Mark Schvaneveldt, who both generated experimental data to test the various models. The paper details square wave voltammetry and the development of a simplified model that enables the determinization of the number of electrons exchanged in unknown reactions. The number of electrons is valuable information in identifying unknown fission products in molten salt reactors and electrorefiners, as well as corrosion products in thermal energy storage, concentrated solar power and molten salt nuclear reactors.

First Electrorefining Run

Greg Chipman, PhD canidate, performed the first electrorefining run in the PyRO lab after months of designing, procuring, and assembling all of the parts for the electrorefining cell. The run tested key components of the cell design including the power supply, electrode leads, stirrer, motor, and other parts. This test was a major step forward in progressing the capabilities of the PyRO lab and in characterizing the key resistances in the electrorefining process to identify where improvements in production rates can be made.

Two-Step Chloride Volatility Project Funded!

The PyRO Lab at BYU is grateful to be a recipient of a project award from ARPA-E's ONWARDS program. The project will develop a conceptual process that utilizes and recycles gases to clean up used nuclear fuel and minimize liquid solvent waste.