Although sol-gel and soft chemistry
techniques allows nanoparticles synthesis with tailored
morphologies and functionalities, gas-phase combustion is another
way to obtain ultrafine metals, ceramics and composite powders.
This site is part of the Laboratory for combustion and Energy
research (LACER) directed by Professor Richard L. Axelbaum, at the Washington University in St Louis.
LACER is dedicated to combustion research
associated with production of both energy and advanced materials. The projects
- Combustion synthesis performed in the Advanced
powder synthesis laboratory
- Soot formation
- Flam synthesis of HCl by combustion of DCE
- Microgravity combustion synthesis of nanoscale
- Flame extinction
Powder Synthesis Laboratory is dedicated to the research and development
of gas-phase combustion synthesis as a route to synthesize ultrafine metal,
ceramic, and composite powders. The laboratory is also involved in the
consolidation of powder materials to produce advanced bulk materials.
Gas-phase combustion synthesis (GCS) has become
the industry standard for high production powders like silicon dioxide, titanium
dioxide and carbon black, but as yet has not been able to produce unagglomerated,
non-oxide materials. Despite past limitations, it has been recently demonstrated
and patented a GCS process to produce ultrafine, unagglomerated, non-oxide
ceramic, metal, and composite powders.
The process couples a unique combustion
system, consisting of a reactive metal (e.g. sodium) and one or more halide
compounds, in a traditional flame
configuration with a novel encapsulation
technique. As a fully integrated process, it lends itself to on-line control
of powder characteristics, such as size, morphology and composition.
The site present an educational overview of the
process including the chemistry and thermodynamics involved as well reactor
description and encapsulation and consolidation steps.