Enhanced Experimentation for Molten Salt Reactors

Molten salt reactors may provide an efficient platform for methane pyrolysis and the production and valorisation of solid carbon compounds, such as carbon nanotubes, CNTs. The process is operated by bubbling methane gas into a tubular bed of molten salts. With the influence of small catalyst particles in the molten salt, methane is converted into C2 gases, (i.e., ethane, ethene, ethyne) and finally into hydrogen gas and solid carbon structures. The high specific heat of the molten salt offers an excellent thermal buffer that enables the endothermic reactions to proceed at a high rate. Both the efficiency and selectivity of the conversion process and the carbon morphology depend on many parameters, in particular the specific salt (mixture), catalyst, temperature, bubble size, residence time, and potentially pressure. The primary goal is to design and construct an enhanced experimentation setup with diagnostic tools for the measurement of bubble size (typically 10 to 100 um), bubble rise velocity, particle formation on and near the interface of the bubble, chemical conversion, carbon morphology.