Nanoparticle Treated Stainless Steel Filters for Metal Vapor Sequestration

The ability to sequester vapor phase radioactive compounds during industrial processes reduces the exposure of workers and the environment to dangerous radioactive materials. Nanomaterials have a lot of potential in this area because they typically demonstrate size- and shape-dependent properties with higher reactivity than bulk. This is due to the increased surface area-to-volume ratio and quantum size effects. In this report, we developed a gold nanomaterial-treated stainless steel filter, namely wools and coupons, that can be efficiently used for zinc vapor sequestration. Without nanoparticle modification, stainless steel coupons do not react or alloy with Zn. Gold nanomaterials were grown onto various stainless steel filters using solution chemistry that is amenable to scaling up. Materials were characterized by electron microscopy, inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering before and after exposure to zinc vapors. X-ray diffraction, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy mapping and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy confirm the formation of gold-zinc alloys after Zn vapor exposure. The effect of surface topography on nanoparticle morphology, size and loading density were also investigated, and stainless steel surface defects were found to have an impact on the Au NP growth and subsequently Zn sequestration.

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The authors would like to acknowledge Savannah River Tritium Enterprise for providing funding for this work under Contract DE-AC09-08SR22470.

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Correspondence to Simona E. Hunyadi Murph.

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Murph, S.E.H., Larsen, G.K., Korinko, P. et al. Nanoparticle Treated Stainless Steel Filters for Metal Vapor Sequestration. JOM 69, 162–172 (2017).

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  • Gold Nanoparticles
  • Inductively Couple Plasma Mass Spectroscopy
  • Inductively Couple Plasma Mass Spectroscopy
  • Zinc Vapor
  • Stainless Steel Coupon