Chapters 1--5 are mainly descriptive and deal with the principles of environmental protection (the principle of sustainable development, the precautionary principle, the principle of cyclic materials handling, etc.), trends in environmental protection, the 14 threats considered relevant to the Swedish environment, problems of materials conservation (conservation to spare the environment or to spare materials), and the conditions that, in a sustainable society, limit the extraction of different natural resources. Chapter 6 deals with ends and means for increased environmental safety in materials and systems. Appendix 1 describes ongoing activities in the civil area (investigations, delegations, etc.). Appendix 2 lists important funders of relevant research and institutions where such research is carried out.
A recently discovered superconductor, magnesium diboride (MgB2), can be used to fabricate conducting leads used in cryogenic applications. Dis covered to be superconducting in 2001, MgB2 has the advantage of remaining superconducting at higher temperatures than the previously used material, NbTi. The purpose of these leads is to provide 2 A of electricity to motors located in a 1.3 K environment. The providing environment is a relatively warm 17 K. Requirements for these leads are to survive temperature fluctuations in the 5 K and 11 K heat sinks, and not conduct excessive heat into the 1.3 K environment. Test data showed that each lead in the assembly could conduct 5 A at 4 K, which, when scaled to 17 K, still provided more than the required 2 A. The lead assembly consists of 12 steelclad MgB2 wires, a tensioned Kevlar support, a thermal heat sink interface at 4 K, and base plates. The wires are soldered to heavy copper leads at the 17 K end, and to thin copper-clad NbTi leads at the 1.3 K end. The leads were designed, fabricated, and tested at the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe - Institut foer Technische Physik before inclusion in Goddard's XRS (X-Ray Spectrometer) instrument onboard the Astro-E2 spacecraft. A key factor is that MgB2 remains superconducting up to 30 K, which means that it does not introduce joule heating as a resistive wire would. Because the required temperature ranges are 1.3-17 K, this provides a large margin of safety. Previous designs lost superconductivity at around 8 K. The disadvantage to MgB2 is that it is a brittle ceramic, and making thin wires from it is challenging. The solution was to encase the leads in thin steel tubes for strength. Previous designs were so brittle as to risk instrument survival. MgB2 leads can be used in any cryogenic application where small currents need to be conducted at below 30 K. Because previous designs would superconduct only at up to 8 K, this new design would be ideal for the 8-30 K range.
Park, J.; Lin, M. C.
The thermal decomposition of ammonium nitrate, NH4NO3 (AN), in the gas phase has been studied at 423-56 K by pyrolysis/mass spectrometry under low-pressure conditions using a Saalfeld reactor coated with boric acid. The sublimation of NH4NO3 at 423 K was proposed to produce equal amounts of NH3 and HNO3, followed by the decomposition reaction of HNO3, HNO3 + M → OH + NO2 + M (where M = third-body and reactor surface). The absolute yields of N2, N2O, H2O, and NH3, which can be unambiguously measured and quantitatively calibrated under a constant pressure at 5-6.2 torr He are kinetically modeled using the detailed [H,N,O]-mechanism established earlier for the simulation of NH3-NO2 (Park, J.; Lin, M. C. Technologies and Combustion for a Clean Environment. Proc. 4th Int. Conf. 1997, 34-1, 1-5) and ADN decomposition reactions (Park, J.; Chakraborty, D.; Lin, M. C. Proc. Combust. Inst. 1998, 27, 2351-2357). Since the homogeneous decomposition reaction of HNO3 itself was found to be too slow to account for the consumption of reactants and the formation of products, we also introduced the heterogeneous decomposition of HNO3 in our kinetic modeling. The heterogeneous decomposition rate of HNO3, HNO3 + (B2O3/SiO2) → OH + NO2 + (B2O3/SiO2), was determined by varying its rate to match the modeled result to the measured concentrations of NH3 and H2O; the rate could be represented by k2b = 7.91 × 107 exp(-12 600/T) s-1, which appears to be consistent with those reported by Johnston and co-workers (Johnston, H. S.; Foering, L.; Tao, Y.-S.; Messerly, G. H. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1951, 73, 2319-2321) for HNO3 decomposition on glass reactors at higher temperatures. Notably, the concentration profiles of all species measured could be satisfactorily predicted by the existing [H,N,O]-mechanism with the heterogeneous initiation process.