Scrap and Contaminated Metals: Uranium Reuse

Uranium Reuse Project

Steve, I copied and pasted this from the old KRCEE site, "Project 2: Industrial Battery Applications for Depleted Uranium",  but it applies more for the Project ITEM, "Uranium Battery Development". 

The name "Uranium ReUse" do you want to make this a broader discussion and  will there be more than the one Project Item to showcase in the data?  -Jeanne

Steve Hampson, Assistant Director, Kentucky Research Consortium for Energy and Environment, University of Kentucky
Paul D. Dunbar, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
University of Kentucky Paducah Engineering Program
Rhonda Lee, Ph.D. Assistant Professor
University of Kentucky Paducah Engineering Program


Batteries have become an important aspect of energy storage in the United States.  The battery industry has become a $10 Billion a year business.  Battery construction materials include zinc, manganese, lithium, and many more.  One metal that has received sparse attention as a candidate for battery construction material is uranium.   Based on the electrochemical literature, uranium is likely to have a significantly higher power density than lead based batteries that are commonly used as secondary power batteries.  In fact, uranium may have similar electrochemical properties to lithium.  
The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant located in the western part of the Commonwealth of Kentucky contains cylinders with over 5 billion pounds of uranium hexafluoride (UF6).    UF6 will be recycled into uranium and fluoride compounds. This will provide a large supply of depleted uranium. 

1. Characterize uranium dioxide’s electrochemical properties in various organic solvents/lithium salts commonly used in commercial battery industry.  These experiments will be performed in a glove box where the moisture and oxygen concentration will be controlled.  These tests will mainly consist of cyclic voltammetry and impedance spectroscopy experiments. This information will be used to construct a battery with uranium dioxide as the cathode. 
2.  Manufacturing of uranium-lithium compounds in a muffle furnace to mirror the construction of manganese-lithium compounds commonly used in commercial batteries.  Once these compounds are manufactured, their electrochemical behavior in common organic solvent/lithium salts will also be characterized.   This information will also be used to construct a battery consisting of lithium-uranium dioxide. 


The objectives are to electrochemical data suitable for properly designing two batteries: 
Uranium dioxide as a cathode in a lithium battery and test its performance
Make a uranium dioxide-lithium compound similar to manganese dioxide-lithium compound and provide electrochemical data suitable for a similar battery. 


Two years


1.  A Report characterizing uranium dioxide in organic solvents/lithium salts and construction of a prototype battery
2.  A Report characterizing a uranium dioxide-lithium compound in organic solvents/lithium salts and construction of a prototype battery. 


Steve Hampson
Dr. Paul Dunbar
Dr. Rhonda Lee-Desautels
Walter Tracinski
Lab Technician
Graduate student
Uranium Chemist


Uranium Battery Development Project Final Report