Form 9.B Project Summary



Proposal Number:


Project Title:

Beta"-Alumina Solid Electrolytes

(BASE) by a Novel Vapor Phase

Process for AMTEC

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

Considerable work on AMTEC has been reported.

The key component of AMTEC is

Na-beta"-alumina solid electrolyte (BASE). In an

AMTEC, the typical geometry of BASE is tubular

and is fabricated by a conventional process. The

conventional process requires encapsulation to

minimize the loss of soda by evaporation and the

resulting BASE is also extremely

moisture-sensitive due to remnant NaAlO2 at grain

boundaries. MSRI has recently developed a novel

vapor phase process which can be used to directly

convert sintered alfa-alumina into

Na-beta"-alumina. The MSRI process has several

advantage over BASE. There are: (1) Lower

processing temperature obviates the need for

platinum encapsulation, thus lowering the overall

coast. (2) Grain boundaries are completely devoid

of NaAlO2, thus making the material

moisture-insensitive. (3) The BASE so-produced

exhibits crystallographic texture, thus increasing

conductivity. (4) Thin-wall ( 500 micrometer), free

standing tubes can be made. The present work is

proposed to evaluate the BASE fabricated by the

novel MSRI process for application in AMTEC.

The technical objectives of the proposed work

include: (1) Fabrication of BASE by the novel vapor

phase process. (2) Evaluation the mechanical and

electrical properties. (3) Enhancement of the

process kinetics through manipulation of the defect

chemistry of BASE (4) Measurement of

conductivity and durability in sodium vapor.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

The anticipated commercial applications of BASE

made by the novel vapor phase process include: (1)

Solid electrolytes for AMETC, both sodium and

potassium for power generation in terrestrial

applications, space nuclear power, and industrial

co-generation. (2) Solid electrolytes for sodium

sulfur batteries with application in utility industry

and electric vehicular applications. (3) Solid

electrolytes for sensors and metal purification in


Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Dr. Jan-Fong Jue

Materials and Systems Research, Inc.

1473 S. Pioneer Rd. Suite B

Salt Lake City , UT 84104

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Dr. Dinesh K. Shetty

Materials and Systems Research, Inc.

1473 S. Pioneer Rd. Suite B

Salt Lake City , UT 84104