Innovative preparation route for uranium carbide using citric acid as a carbon source

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  • EC - JRC - European Commission - Joint Research Centre

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The preparation of uranium carbide (UC) by carbothermal reduction and its sintering into dense pellets by conventional means require high temperatures for long periods. We have developed a preparation route yielding fine UC powder with significantly increased sinterability. At first, a mixture of nanocrystalline UO2 embedded in amorphous carbon (nano-UO2/C) was obtained by thermal decomposition of a gel containing solubilised uranyl nitrate and citric acid. Later, the nano-UO2/C powder was treated in a conventional furnace or in a modified spark plasma sintering facility at elevated temperatures (≥1200 °C) in order to obtain uranium carbide powder. The effects of initial composition, temperature, gas/vacuum atmosphere and the overall reaction kinetics are reported.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16710-16717
Number of pages8
JournalCeramics International
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2016


  • Uranium carbide, Citric acid, Carbothermal reduction, Spark plasma sintering

ID: 5648052