The effect of precipitation and calcination parameters on oxalate derived ThO2 pellets

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  • Solvay - Etoile Part-Dieu
  • KUL - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

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Thorium oxalate is easy to prepare, but the derived oxide powders retain the platelet morphology of the primary oxalate. This negatively impacts packing and sintering. If powder milling is to be avoided, powder synthesis needs to be optimized. That is the goal of this paper, where different precipitation strategies were used and their effect on powder characteristics and pellet synthesis was investigated. Oxalates prepared by adding a thorium nitrate solution to an oxalic acid solution proved most promising. Further optimizing of the calcination temperature revealed that with increasing calcination temperature the packing density improved significantly. This came at the cost of decreased early stage sintering and a higher frequency of end-capping during compaction. The calcination temperature at which the highest final density can be reached was dependent on the sintering cycle. Furthermore, the ThO2 powders had less surface area and thus adsorbed less gases during storage when calcined at higher temperatures.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-137
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • precipitation, calcination, oxalate derived , ThO2 , pellets

ID: 4095142