Research Papers

Multicomponent Molten Salt Mixtures Based on Nitrate/Nitrite Anions

[+] Author and Article Information
Joseph G. Cordaro, Nicholas C. Rubin, Robert W. Bradshaw

 Sandia National Laboratories, P.O. Box 969, MS-9403, Livermore, CA 94551jgcorda@sandia.gov

J. Sol. Energy Eng 133(1), 011014 (Feb 03, 2011) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4003418 History: Received June 18, 2010; Revised November 23, 2010; Published February 03, 2011; Online February 03, 2011

Molten salts are a promising medium for thermal energy transfer and storage. They have a very low vapor pressure and most are unreactive in air. Over the past 3 decades, Sandia National Laboratories has investigated a variety of molten salt mixtures of alkali nitrates and, most recently, quaternary mixtures of sodium, calcium, lithium, and potassium nitrate salts. This effort led to the discovery of mixtures with liquidus temperatures below 100°C. We have now extended this work to the mixed nitrate/nitrite anion system and found compositions with liquidus temperatures below 80°C. In this paper, we present experimental results exploring the lithium, sodium, and potassium compositional space with a 1:1 molar mixture of nitrate/nitrite. From our work, we have identified a five-component system with a liquidus temperature near 70°C. Physical properties of these salts, such as viscosity and density, are reported as well as thermal stability in air. Such a molten salt mixture, with a low liquidus temperature, has the potential to make parabolic trough collectors economically competitive with traditional power generation schemes.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

Phase diagram for Li:Na:K mixture with 1:1 fixed nitrate/nitrite ratio

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

Density measurement of five-component molten salt using Archimedean method




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