Combustion Synthesis of Boride-Based Electrode Materials for Magneto Hydrodynamic (MHD) Direct Power Extraction


Schematic of SHS Process
Schematic of SHS Process
University of Texas at El Paso
Award Number:  FE0026333
Project Duration:  10/01/2015 – 08/31/2019
Total Award Value:  $250,000
DOE Share:  $250,000
Performer Share:  $0
Technology Area:  University Training and Research
Key Technology:  Innovative Energy Concepts
Location:  El Paso, TX

Project Description

NETL is partnering with the University of Texas at El Paso to develop a novel technology for advanced, low-cost manufacture of boride-based ultrahigh-temperature ceramics (UHTCs) for direct power extraction applications. The project will determine optimal conditions of mechanical activation, self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS), and pressureless sintering for fabrication of doped zirconium diboride (ZrB2) and hafnium diboride (HfB2) that possess all the required properties to function as sustainable magnetohydrodynamic electrodes. The project will also determine thermophysical, electrical, mechanical, and oxidation properties of borides obtained by mechanically activated SHS followed by pressureless sintering. This effort will focus on the use of inexpensive materials such as zirconium dioxide (ZrO2), hafnium oxide (HfO2), boron trioxide (B2O3), magnesium (Mg), and sodium chloride (NaCl), which could allow the production costs to be significantly less than in the case of synthesis from elements.

Project Benefits

The combined technology will solve SHS problems, such as difficult ignition of low-exothermic mixtures and high porosity of products, and will allow for the utilization of great SHS advantages: low cost, low energy consumption, and high product purity.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Jason Hissam:
Technology Manager 
Briggs White:
Principal Investigator 
Evgeny Shafirovich; Ramana Chintalapalle:

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