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Metal corrosion mechanisms in molten salts used in concentrated solar power systems

Project Description

Molten salt technology is a step towards solving the “black hole” of energy storage in solar power systems, promising to generate up to 12-25% of global energy by 2050. However with the use of molten salt technology come issues of corrosion and chemical degradation at salt–metal interfaces.

Corrosion in Concentrated Solar Plants (CSP) is related to the ionic properties of molten salts at high temperatures, transportation of oxidising agents contained in the salts to the metal due to chemical speciation/degradation and the potential for a complex combination of different degradation mechanisms occurring at extremely high temperatures up to 800˚C.

The project will be largely experimental and will involve the development of the science of improving next generation materials for mitigating molten salt corrosion. There will be a combination of electrochemical testing and post-test analysis involving advanced surface analysis. The techniques will include X-ray diffraction, Scanning Electron microscope and other corrosion characterisation techniques.

Funding Notes

A full standard studentship consists of academic fees (£4,327 in Session 2019/20), together with a maintenance grant (£15,009 in Session 2019/20) paid at standard Research Council rates. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.

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