Molten fluoride salts are ionic liquids that are employed in nuclear reactors as coolant or nuclear fuel solvents. 2LiF-BeF2 (FLiBe) is an ionic liquid that is of particular interest for application in nuclear reactors due to its neutronic properties. While the fluoride salts are ionic liquids, the beryllium constituent is known to form partly covalent associates with the fluorine, leading for formation of complex ions in the ionic melt. The implications of this complexation on the chemical and thermophysical properties of the salt are only partly understood. This talk will provide examples of unexpected observations in molten fluoride salts relevant to nuclear applications, including reactions of FLiBe with hydrogen.
Raluca Scarlat is an assistant professor at UC Berkeley, in the Department of Nuclear Engineering. Professor Scarlat has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from UC Berkeley and a B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Cornell University. Raluca Scarlat’s research focuses on chemistry, electrochemistry and physical chemistry of high-temperature inorganic fluids and their application to energy systems. She has experience in design and safety analysis of fluoride-salt-cooled high-temperature reactors (FHRs) and Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs), and high-temperature gas cooled reactors (HTGRs). Her research includes safety analysis and design of nuclear reactors and engineering ethics.