Sample seal-and-drop device and methodology for high temperature oxide melt solution calorimetric measurements of PuO2

Xiaofeng Guo, Hakim Boukhalfa, Jeremy N. Mitchell, Michael Ramos, Andrew J. Gaunt, Albert Migliori, Robert C. Roback, Alexandra Navrotsky, Hongwu Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Thermodynamic properties of refractory materials, such as standard enthalpy of formation, heat content, and enthalpy of reaction, can be measured by high temperature calorimetry. In such experiments, a small sample pellet is dropped from room temperature into a calorimeter operating at high temperature (often 700 °C) with or without a molten salt solvent present in an inert crucible in the calorimeter chamber. However, for hazardous (radioactive, toxic, etc.) and/or air-sensitive (hygroscopic, sensitive to oxygen, pyrophoric, etc.) samples, it is necessary to utilize a sealed device to encapsulate and isolate the samples, crucibles, and solvent under a controlled atmosphere in order to prevent the materials from reactions and/or protect the personnel from hazardous exposure during the calorimetric experiments. We have developed a sample seal-and-drop device (calorimetric dropper) that can be readily installed onto the dropping tube of a calorimeter such as the Setaram AlexSYS Calvet-type high temperature calorimeter to fulfill two functions: (i) load hazardous or air-sensitive samples in an air-tight, sealed container and (ii) drop the samples into the calorimeter chamber using an "off-then-on" mechanism. As a case study, we used the calorimetric dropper for measurements of the enthalpy of drop solution of PuO2 in molten sodium molybdate (3Na2O·4MoO3) solvent at 700 °C. The obtained enthalpy of -52.21 ± 3.68 kJ/mol is consistent with the energetic systematics of other actinide oxides (UO2, ThO2, and NpO2). This capability has thus laid the foundation for thermodynamic studies of other Pu-bearing phases in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044101
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation


Dive into the research topics of 'Sample seal-and-drop device and methodology for high temperature oxide melt solution calorimetric measurements of PuO2'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this